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Surviving Online School During A Pandemic

School is hard enough already and doing it online doesn’t make it any easier! Online school has its perks but it can be daunting because your education is in your own hands now more than ever. Here are a few tips that I suggest for navigating online school.

1. To-Do Lists

Create a daily list of your tasks and goals. This is a simple way to prioritize your tasks and hold yourself accountable. Moreover, being able to cross things off your list builds confidence and a sense of accomplishment, as it is a visual reminder of the tasks that you have successfully completed.  

2. Establish An Organized Study Space

Create an environment to be able to study and learn in. Having a designated study space to repeatedly study establishes a routine. It also promotes organization and productivity, allowing you to focus on your studies. To maintain organization try to tidy your space at least once per day. Remaining organized allows you to have a clear mind to focus on studying.

3. Take Notes

Take handwritten or typed notes throughout each lecture. Staying engaged during online school is difficult as it is so easy to zone out. Taking notes helps to maintain engagement and promotes active learning during lectures. Active engagement will also increase memory recall when studying for exams.

4. Screen Breaks

Take a break from staring at your computer, tablet, and phone screen. Exposure to screens can cause eyestrain, headaches and can be mentally draining.  If your lectures are recorded, take advantage of this by pausing the lecture and stepping away from the screen(s).  If this isn’t feasible, blue light glasses can also be utilized to reduce eyestrain from prolonged screen exposure. I picked up a pair off of amazon and wear them every day to help reduce screen-induced headaches.

5. Be Flexible

When possible adapt your schedule to suit you best. Most lectures are recorded so take advantage of this by watching them at a time when you feel most prepared and engaged. Don’t feel forced to watch them at the scheduled time in your school timetable. Everyone has different times throughout the day of peak productivity so customize your schedule around your most productive hours. This will increase your personal efficiency and allow you to get the most value out of your classes.

6. Self Care

Schedule time in your day to take a break from school to focus on yourself. Give yourself time to be able to do something you enjoy. This could be physical activity, going outside or your favourite hobby. This gives your mind time to unwind, thus reducing the feeling of burnout and preserving your school-life balance. This balance is critical to maintaining your physical and mental health, so add this to your schedule as if it were a class!

7. Online Study Groups

Organize online study sessions with colleagues via video or audio call. Doing so can aid in maintaining motivation and eliminating procrastination. It also allows you to employ different study techniques. Another advantage is gaining clarity and perspective on concepts from a different point of view.  Studying together can also positively impact your mental health by being able to support one another, and reduce the loneliness and anxiety associated with online school. Remember, you are not alone.