Having an online class can seem a lot different than face to face lectures. Given that this pandemic has resulted in nearly all college students (and high school students) learning on a virtual platform, you may be feeling stuck. This is normal! With a few simple tips, this guide will help you achieve all of your success that you normally would in a face to face format. Whether you are a sophomore or senior, high school or college, this article will be your guide from now to graduation.
1. Write Everything Down:
Writing everything down may seem tedious and unnecessary, but your grades will thank you later. It can be easy to forget about an assignment or paper that is due if you don’t write it down! A simple and fun way to do this is by color-coding. I’m sure most of us have a trendy agenda, probably Lilly Pulitzer, or a similar fun bright pattern. Make use out of your agenda book, and write down everything that is due, and when it is due! This will be a huge help. Make sure to check your agenda at least once every couple of days! This is one of the easiest steps to attain and keep success.
2. Smart Breaking
Taking breaks is an essential part of getting work done. Knowing when to give yourself a break, and how long to take one for is important! Giving yourself coffee breaks, snack breaks, meal breaks, bathroom breaks, and so on, is useful so your not sitting at a desk or with your nose in a book for hours. This can help you feel more energized and refreshed, without getting burnt out!
3. Keep Plugging Away
One of the easiest things to do in college, whether you are taking online classes or not, is procrastinating. Procrastinating is ok once in a while, but it should be avoided if you have extensive assignments due at once, which we all know that happens. College is like blinking and suddenly it is finals week. One easy way to prevent submitting late work is to do a little bit of work each day. Even if you spend 5 minutes a day contributing to your work, or read 3 pages a day, it’s something, and it will help you. Staying on top of work is one of the easiest ways to succeed.
4. Highlight And Annotate
If your classes are anything like mine, your professors may assign readings and afterward, you’ll have a quiz on it. Timed quizzes are the worst, but you’ll soon realize that highlighters are your best friend. You may have heard ‘annotating’ from your English teacher, which basically means taking notes throughout your reading/ article. Annotating aims to prevent your mind from wandering while reading. Highlighting, on the other hand, is equally useful. Choose 3-4 different bright colors, and highlight the chapter, a paragraph, or anything that you may think could be on the test or quiz. This will help you because when it comes time for the test, you’ll already be familiar with the material. Plus, it looks pretty!
5. (Try) To Study Somewhere Quiet
This is nearly impossible for me, but hey, it is worth a shot. I use white noise, in my earbuds, and that helps me concentrate. It can be really frustrating when there is so much external noise in your house. This may be one of the hardest aspects of online class and living at home. Try your best to find a quiet place to study!
6. Smart Snacking
Diet and exercise can play an important role in getting work done. You may feel tired and unmotivated when it comes to salty, high-calorie foods, and that’s why eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy meals will keep you energized and focused. A great snack is baby carrots and hummus, an apple with a handful of almonds, a granola bar, and so on. Get creative with your daily meals and snacks. Fuel your mind! Get creative and have fun with the various snacks and meals you can make to keep your body going.
7. Take Notes
Just like you would take notes if you were in a face to face lecture, you should keep taking notes at home. Listening to the lectures and jotting down a few key points can help you better understand the material, and reference at a later date. Half the battle is the lectures, and the other half is putting in the work. Make your notes pretty and color-coded to encourage yourself to engage in the material. This trick really works!
8. Routine, Routine, Routine
Getting in the habit of developing a routine can be your saving grace during the pandemic. When our routines are thrown off, it can seem very challenging to develop a new one. If you don’t have the same routine over and over every day, (who does), try to keep it somewhat similar each day. Another important aspect of this is getting work done on the weekends. Weekends might be your time for sleeping in and having fun, and I can’t say I blame you, but getting in the habit of doing homework for a couple hours on the weekends might not be a bad idea either. I use Sundays as my schoolwork day, and it is really worthwhile! Getting work done on Sundays can make for a less painful and less cramped work week. Routines keep us focused, comfortable, and relaxed with what we have to do, and by what time frame. Establishing a concrete routine can be extremely helpful in the long run! Never underestimate the power of a routine!
Nobody likes having their college experience disrupted and having to familiarize themselves with an online class format. However, it is doable, and we’re all in this together! I hope this article gave you some helpful tips in terms of your online classes and your schedule. Comment below what your classes are like! Thank you so much, everyone, for reading!
Feature Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/59813501288513610/
Senior at UMass Dartmouth with a minor in communications, writing has always been a part of me. I believe writing is a powerful form of self-expression, and I couldn't have found an internship more aligned with my goals to pursue a career in this field.