Tips For Going to School Online

Ashley Lynne

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

This is my last week before finals in Anatomy.

So far it’s been okay, though i’m used to in-person classes. My grades are good and I’m getting my assignments done on time. But even then I have to balance huge projects with everyday tasks.

After finals I’ll start getting into the meat of sonography, which will require more dedication and effort. Overall, I feel confident in passing these classes. Yet, I miss being in the classroom. It’s easier to ask questions while looking at another person.

Going back to school during a pandemic isn’t easy, and doing it mostly online makes some things difficult. Like getting in contact with your teachers and doing group projects when your classmate lives an hour away.

In order to be a successful student while taking online classes, one must be self-motivated and self-disciplined. Without face-to-face interaction with your teachers and classmates, you have to be resourceful. Luckily, many teachers allow you to use Google and the school’s online library to help.

However, if you’re like me and this is your first time taking classes online, then there are a few things you can do to make things a little less overwhelming.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in college or if you have a child that has to go to virtual school. These tips can help anyone stay focused and prepared for online classes.

1. Treat online classes like a real class. It’s easy to just show up in your pajamas and log on to your class. But there are some lecture classes that require you to attend at a certain time.

If you have a morning class, be sure to wake up early enough to do your morning routine and have your notebook and pen ready to take notes.

You get graded on participation like you would in an in-person class. So it’s important that you pay attention and ask questions if you need to. Just dress from the waist up, grab some coffee or tea, and make sure your connection is clear.

2. Get a planner. Having a planner to write down assignments and due dates help keep up with your work. It also helps you schedule your day around study time.

Sometimes I get confused about what I've turned in and what still needs to be done. Being able to keep an organized list of homework assignments and checking them off makes me feel better.

3. Take a break when you need it. Staring at the computer all day is bad for your eyes. UCLA defines computer fatigue as vision problems from prolonged computer use. They point out that images are made out of pixels, so your eyes have to work very hard to keep the pixels in focus. This can be tiring and cause blurred vision and eyestrain.

This has happened to me a lot when working in digital marketing. The majority of my day was spent in front of a computer. It’s important to get up and walk around the house for a few moments to shake the fatigue.

4. Get rid of distractions. Facebook, Instagram, and watching dumb videos will take up so much of your study time. Put your phone on vibrate so that you can still receive calls but only if they’re important.

If you can find a quiet room, let that be your office. If you have children or don’t have a room to go to, creating a studying environment is still easy.

I usually go on youtube and play ambient music. I can’t concentrate in a perfectly quiet room or I’ll procrastinate. Ambient music or some kind of background noise can block out anything that may distract you from focusing.

5. Break down your tasks. Some days you can be given a heavy workload with a tight deadline. You may feel like you can’t get everything done because you haven’t broken it down.

Write down on a piece of paper the tasks that you’ve been given that day, with the deadlines. Write down the name of your classes and sort all your tasks under each class.

Now you have broken it down into little tasks that you can focus on one-at-a-time. Instead of feeling like everything has to be done in one day, you can see what can be done now and what can be done another day.

For example, I have algebra class, anatomy lecture, and anatomy lab. Instead of putting all my assignments under Anatomy, I just break down my tasks by classes. So I have two things to do in lecture and three assignments in the lab. Lab is the most important one, I will focus on that first.

6. Start a group chat with classmates. Even though you may be far from your classmates, creating a group chat is a way to keep each other on track. Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Slack are great apps to use to connect with other students.

Sometimes my classmates and I go on Zoom for a study session for review questions. A group chat is also helpful if you missed class and need to get caught up on certain assignments.

It can also be a great way to get to know your fellow students and maybe meet up in person to hang out.

7. Reward yourself. You’ve put in so much work and your grades are great. Time to relax and treat yourself to something nice.

Get some food from your favorite restaurant, take a nap, or even look for deals on Amazon. Whatever makes you happy, you deserve a reward for putting in the effort and succeeding.

Going to school can be stressful no matter how you do it. But if you make a plan and follow through, it won’t be as taxing.

What are some things you do to help with online school?

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A writer, artist, and spiritualist just making a way for myself.

Atlanta, GA

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