Online classes, the now bane of existence for every student in America. They don’t hit quite the same as in person classes? The social interaction is gone, the obligation to them seems diminished, yet they count the same none the less than the class you signed up for in the winter term. As finals approach and big projects become due, I feel like it is my obligation to the people to write an article about how you can stay on top of your work in such trying times. Without further adieu, here are the top ten study tips for online classes.
1. Plan out Everything
It’s not the most glamorous way to get things done, but it’s efficient and it works. Knowing what’s due and when it’s due is half the battle in online classes. There’s no more in person classes where professors can remind you of upcoming assignments. So, without any reminders from others, you’ll have to make the reminders yourself. Go over every assignment that’s due for the rest of the semester and make a rough schedule of what needs to get done on certain days. Mine is pinned in my notes as a big list that says “Shit that needs to get done so I don’t ruin my life”. You can name yours whatever you want, I chose to name mine something that would give so much anxiety I’d have to do it. Having everything laid out in front of you with a plan of action on how to take it down is the name of the game in online classes.
Motivation is hard to come by with online classes. Forcing yourself to do work you may no longer have and interest for seems almost impossible. What I like to do is have a reward system for myself. Isn’t the reward of knowledge enough to keep you going Jackson? For me personally, not a chance. Don’t get me wrong I love learning, but I hate online classes. Everything just feels so forced. My reward for completing all my tasks for the day before 3pm means I get to do whatever I want for the rest of the day. It doesn’t have to be that though. You could reward yourself with anything. Maybe ice cream, maybe going for a walk or working out. Have something to look forward to that you get to do after you finish work.
3. Flash Cards
I’m a communication major, so a lot of my classes are writing based and there’s not a ton of memorization, but there’s still at least one class of mine a semester that I know I’m going to have to know vocab for. So I make flash cards. It seems like a chore to make but writing out everything you need to know and going through them once a day burns words into your psyche.
4. Meditation and working in a calm space
It’s a lot easier to get work done in an environment that’s not stressful.I understand everyone’s locked inside at home and it might not be easy to find a quiet place to work. I would know, I live with two producers, so I’m used to noise. That being said it’s very hard to get work done with a lot of noise and distractions. If you also have the same problem, find a time in the day where it’s not noisey and try to work at that time. If it’s always noisy, try working outside.
5. Talk to your Professors If you need help
Most professors are bored out of their minds right now. They are waiting for students to email them with either questions, or times to set up and office hours visit. With classes going online instructions to projects/assignments get a little murky, have them clarify. Every Time I’ve gone to get help from a professor it has only affected my grade positively. They take your initiative as a willingness to learn and want to help.
6. Start a Zoom Study Group
Just because classes are online doesn’t mean you and some of your fellow classmates can’t link up and study together. In times like this it can really feel like you’re all alone and it’s you versus the world. This is not true. Every student in America is going through what you’re going through right now. Everyone could benefit from a study group. Even if you don’t learn a lot, social interaction with other people is good for you I promise.
7. Go outside
I know I briefly talked about this earlier but going outside, even if it’s just for a little while can clear your head. I know I get to points in my day where I’m feeling burnt out on work. Take 15 minutes, step outside, collect yourself.
This one is good to learn lockdown or no lockdown. Usually if you’re working on something you can also be working on something else. An example of this might be laundry. If you’re writing a paper do some laundry with it. If you’re peer reviewing someone else’s paper have an alcoholic beverage with it. Multitasking get’s things done efficiently and step one of having a schedule helps you out with this.
9. Find what works for you
You could use all of these tips, you could use a few of them, you could use none of them. At the end of the day if you have a process that works and you’re happy with, keep it. If it’s not broke don’t fix it. That being said, trying new things and realizing they don’t work for you is productive too. Knowing is better than not knowing. For example, I love burgers. For the longest time I wrote BBQ sauce off and didn’t want it on anything. Then I put it on my burgers and found I liked burgers even more with BBq sauce on it.
10. It’s almost never worth it to say fuck it
Don’t give up. Think of the bigger picture before saying fuck it. Trust me, there are times when you do have to fuck this shit I’m not doing it, but really think over your options before jumping off that cliff. Put the work in now because you’re not doing anything anyways until lockdowns are over. Being miserable is no excuse to not try. You got this. If I can do it, you’re smarter than me which means you can do it too.
That about wraps up the article. Did I miss anything? Probably so put it down in the comments and let me know what study tips you guys use to pass your classes.
Jackson Wiberg is a student, comedian, and podcast personality. He currently attends school at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee where he is pursuing his bachelors degree in communication. He's toured his stand up routine around the midwest and when he's not working likes spending time with his family and friends. You can follow Jackson on his social media: @jackson_wiberg on all social media platforms, and you can listen to his podcast The Blockbuster Boys podcast, the number 1 rated college comedy podcast in the world, on Apple podcasts and Spotify.