The coronavirus pandemic has forced many colleges and universities to make the decision to move to online instruction for the spring semester. Although many students may be content with the new transition from face-to-face classes to online classes, I have found that it can be difficult, especially if you’ve never taken an online class before. This big change is not only new for students but for professors too, so don’t worry if you are not that tech-savvy. It seems that one problem many students are facing is having the motivation to do their schoolwork; trust me, I know it’s hard to stop binge-watching a Netflix show you’ve been dying to watch. During this time, staying at home definitely can get boring and make one feel lazy, but just try to make the best of it! Here are some study habits that have helped me get through the first two weeks of online classes:
1) Set goals for yourself:
Setting a goal to complete at least one or two assignments a day helps keep me motivated and feeling accomplished. Maybe during this time, you can work on improving skills for a certain class.
2) Stay informed about your assignments:
The transition to online classes has caused many professors to make changes to their syllabi. Some professors may have cut some assignments out, while others may have adjusted due dates. I encourage students to write down their assignments to help prevent some from being forgotten, especially with many professors using both email and Blackboard to communicate. Using sticky notes with a different color for each class is also a helpful way to distinguish work between classes.
3) Try to follow a routine:
Even though staying at home probably makes us all want to stay in our comfy pjs all day, creating a routine can help one become more motivated. By waking up, making a hot cup of coffee and getting dressed as if I were actually going to class helps me feel as if at least some of my life is put together. Staying in your PJs all day may also make you less motivated and just want to sleep!
4) Complete your work in an appropriate atmosphere:
I’ve noticed that it is difficult to get my work done at home compared to a library or coffee shop. Many of us may also have parents who are working from home or siblings who are not in school, making the house loud at times. Try to find a quiet place with the least amount of people and distractions, or put on a pair of headphones to block out the noise. This can help motivate you to get your work done.
5) Find an “escape” from school work for a bit:
It is important to understand that mental and physical health is also a priority during this time, and doing homework for hours on end is not helpful. Staring at your computer for hours can strain your eyes, so it is important to give yourself a rest. Some of my favorite things are going on nature walks to get fresh air or playing fun board games with my family. Listening to music or trying new at-home workouts also can be a good escape from schoolwork for a little while.
6) Take advantage of using Zoom:
A huge thank you to Zoom and other technology for helping make sure that classes can still happen! Although this time is tough, many professors are extremely understanding and flexible, so do not be hesitant to reach out with any questions or concerns. Using Zoom has been beneficial in helping me keep up with my classes and still feel connected to my professors and classmates.
Some of these habits are easier said than done in this chaotic time but try to do the best you can. These habits have helped me adapt to completing my school work in a new atmosphere and I hope they help you too! Remember, a lot of students and professors are facing similar struggles trying to balance their academic/job priorities along with personal priorities. We will get through this!