In today’s world, “Zoom” seems to be a very common term. Classes, meetings, and social get-togethers are taking over the video calling service as a safe replacement during the pandemic. Students are converting their normal school lives to learning from the comfort of their own homes or dorm rooms, and for some, this is a challenge. Not being able to connect with classmates or professors can be a roadblock in the educational path for many, and students are feeling lost and frustrated. There is no definite point in time where online learning will be a thing of the past, so here are some ways that you can make the most of virtual education.
ORGANIZATION. First and foremost, it’s so important to stay organized. This is something that everyone constantly preaches but is often disregarded. Whether it’s a planner, a notebook, a spreadsheet, or simply just a piece of paper, take time at the beginning of each week to write out your schedule. Having a schedule to follow each day will keep you on track and will allow for less time to procrastinate. Also, how satisfying is it to be able to mark things off your checklist? Bonus points if you color-code your schedule.
ATMOSPHERE. Not being able to study in a classroom is a big change for a lot of people and can have a negative impact on learning and concentration. It’s different for everyone what environment is needed to produce quality work or retain information so after you decide what that is for you, make an action plan of where you’re going to complete your online learning. If you prefer to stay at home or in your dorm, make the space warm and welcoming. Allow lots of natural light to come in, have lots of cozy places to study, and maybe even have a diffuser or candle going. Not your thing to study in your living space? Find a library or café that allows socially distanced seating and grind out your work there. It’s important that you have a space with limited distractions where you can focus, but still feel comfortable.
BREAKOUT. If you’re learning online, I’m sure you dread the teacher sending the class into breakout rooms. Let’s face it, they’re awkward, especially when people don’t talk. So, make the effort to start a conversation. Although it’s different from normal face-to-face interaction, this is an opportunity to connect with your classmates and get a peer’s point of view on the material covered in class. It’s important to know your classmates so that you can reach out to them for questions or concerns about the course. Sometimes it’s easier to get help from a fellow classmate rather than contacting a professor.
MOVE AROUND. Online school means you’re not walking around to your classes every day and probably feel pretty sedentary. For this reason, it’s crucial to take time for yourself during the day whether it’s doing a workout, taking a walk, or simply just taking a few minutes to meditate. Mental health is a concern now more than ever, so remember to take care of yourself.
Online learning is not ideal, but hopefully, now you have some ways to make it a little more bearable. You’ve almost made it through this crazy school year, don’t quit now. You can do this.