Stressed, tired, or over online school? Us too! Here are 10 tips for students of all ages to keep in mind on how to best navigate these crazy times, both personally and academically!
1. Stick to a routine as if you were physically going to school.
Get ready (change out of pajamas), make yourself lunch, and walk or take a jog to be one with nature. In between classes, stand up and stretch, or walk around your room or house as if you were walking to your next class. You can also change things up by giving yourself something to look forward to each morning, such as a new breakfast recipe!
2. Don’t do your work in bed.
You don’t want to make it a habit of doing any stressful activities in your bed, a place for relaxation and rest. It’s important to separate your workspace from your sleep space. Many studies have shown working in bed makes sleep more difficult. Even if you have to work on one side of the bed and sleep on the other, try to separate these spaces to the best of your ability.
3. Limit and adjust screen time.
Since you’ll be staring at a screen all day, make sure to adjust the settings on your computer to avoid hurting your eyes or your head. Lower the brightness, but make sure you can still see the screen without squinting/straining your eyes. Use your computer on “night mode” or with a yellow light even during the day because it’s easier on your eyes than the typical white light computer screen. You can also purchase a pair of affordable blue light glasses, with or without a prescription. Take breaks from looking at your screen (walk away for at least 10 minutes every couple of hours). Try the 20/20/20 rule: look away from the screen every 20 minutes, focus an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
4. Spend time with friends.
Get on a Zoom or FaceTime, and study with friends. It can make your work go faster, and being with others who are also studying will motivate you! It will feel like old times in the library, and it’s important to keep in touch with your friends. You can mute yourselves if you are spending too much time chatting, and schedule some games like skribbl.io to play during breaks after you finish assignments.
5. Make time in your day to spend time with your family/roommates.
This can be something as small as spending fifteen minutes in your living room or having dinner together. It’s important to take a break and get some social interaction with loved ones because it’s so easy to just sit in our room all day but not good for our mental and physical health. One conversation can be the bright spot on a rough day.
6. Use this time to make friends.
We know it can seem impossible to make friends virtually, but don’t be afraid to cold email/direct message/text people in your classes to ask questions. You won’t see these people for a while, so it doesn’t hurt to just reach out – there is nothing to lose. This can lead to a great conversation with someone new!
7. Stay organized.
8. Find new and optimal study spots.
If you’re living in a crowded household or just can’t find a quiet place to work, try going to your front or backyard, a park, or outdoor space to complete any work that doesn’t require Internet connection. Be sure to wear a mask! If you have options, test out different places inside your house/apartment, and identify which one you are most productive in (look at the lighting, sound, WiFi, etc.)
9. Communicate with teachers.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your teachers if you’re struggling with the adjustment to online learning. They want you to do well in their classes, and they understand that everyone’s home environment is different.
10. Try not to use online school as an excuse to fall behind on your work.
Of course, learning from home will be an obstacle to everyone. But if you are able to complete your work on time, just do it – even if there’s no one but yourself to keep you accountable. You’ll regret it later when you have assessments like tests and papers piled up.
Keep your head up high, but also be forgiving to yourself! We’re all in this together. Stay safe and well, friends!