Most colleges this year unfortunately aren’t going back to in person learning. Online school can be messy. Most of this learned this the hard way when we were unexpectedly sent home in march because of Covid-19. Professors can be unorganized, and so can students. Here are some ways to help navigate online school this semester to make sure you maintain good grades and and education.
1. Use a daily Planner
Having a planner can improve your productivity. This is super important because its going to be super easy to get distracted when doing school in your house. Planners help you to stay focused with each individual task you need to complete, and encourages you to move on to the next one effectively and efficiently. Having a planner also helps with time management. Using a planner allows you to schedule each event, appointment, errand, and task, so that you know what to expect and don’t run out of time. This is super important when it comes down to school deadlines and keeping your work organized. I find that writing down all the work I need to do along with the dates they are due help me and keep me on a schedule. Set specific due dates and deadlines for everything to help you stay on track, and have extra time left for yourself and your family. . Doing this will also de-stress you, because you will be organized. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a planner, they have super cheap ones of varying sizes at places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls. There are also digital planners you can print out online
2 Set attainable goals.
Online schools require students to practice self-discipline when it comes to studying and completing coursework on time. College professors have never been known to hold their students’ hands, especially in the online college atmosphere where they serve more as a guide than a teacher in the traditional sense. We have learned through going online quickly this past march that some professors really had no clue what they were doing, and honestly this is still the case for some. Setting realistic goals for yourself can be helpful to the online schooling process. For example, don’t expect yourself to do a bunch of homework assignments in one day when you normally wouldn’t do that. Setting realistic goals for yourself will help you be successful throughout the semester.
3. Participate/Ask Questions
I have probably been super annoying already this semester, but I really don’t care and neither should you. Professors can be super unorganized at times and it can be hard to understand when something is due or what the directions are of an assignment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you have them, Send an email, or ask during a zoom session if that’s an option for you. Even if you think it’s a dumb question, chances are it probably isn’t. Keep in mind the old saying “no question is a stupid question.” It’s cliche but true. Asking questions shows that you are taking an active role in your education by trying to understand each concept fully. From personal experience, even if i ended up doing bad on an assignment professors would bump up my grade because I asked questions and participated in group discussions or on zoom calls in general. Same thing goes with attendance. A lot of times professors will bump your final grade in the class up if they see you barley or never have missed class. If you are going to miss class make sure you email your professor to let them know. It makes you look responsible and like you care about your academics.
4. Create a Study Space
Set up a dedicated learning environment for studying. By completing your work there repeatedly, you’ll begin to establish a routine. Whether your workspace is your kitchen table, a desk or you’re local library it’s important to determine what type of environment will work best for you. One mistake that I made while doing online school last semester was trying to complete all my work in my bed. I would end up doing my work super spaced out, and I had trouble completing assignments. By the end of the semester I realized that the wifi in my house reached to my picnic table in my backyard, so I would sit outside and do homework and zoom calls. It was super nice to get fresh air and do the work. It kept me relaxed as well as got me away from everyone in my house so I was able to focus more. If this is an option for you, I definitely recommend it. However, switching locations constantly isn’t the best idea because it isn’t going to keep you in a routine. Stick to a maximum of three places that you complete your work. Sitting in the same location all day can make you tired and unmotivated, so having another place to complete your work is super important.
5. Eliminate Distractions
I am super guilty of this. Avoid having the television on when you are doing your classwork. I would constantly have shows like Gossip Girl or The Real Housewives Of New Jersey blaring in the background when I was doing homework. I didn’t think that these shows were keeping me distracted, but they were. It was a lot more then just background noise. Exactly how much of a challenge these distractions will prove to be will depend on your own personality and situation. Some might find that they can tune out a noisy home by listening to music. If you can listen to music and do work, I definitely recommend that instead of having the TV on. I personally lose focus when I listen to music. The best thing for me is to have white noise. There are plenty of playlists on spotify that are white noise related. I love the ones that sound like its raining. That way, I am not sitting in silence but I am not getting distracted either.
As stated before, Online School can be super challenging. By following these tips and tricks, it will definitely ease your mind for the rest of this semester.
Hi Everyone! My name is Emily and I am a current college senior at Ramapo College of New Jersey. I am a Communications major and have a minor in Sociology. Some of my interests are astrology, fashion, celebrities, and holidays!