5 Tips to Become a Productive and Energized Online Student
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
By Paulina Aragon, Account Coordinator, Fall 2020
It's no secret that balancing classes, a job (or two), and leadership positions in college are challenging. Now add a sprinkle of a global pandemic to the list, and it just went from challenging to almost impossible. As a student, with recent experience with this during the past month, I can confirm it's not an easy task. However, along the way, I've gathered a few tricks that have helped me adapt to a virtual lifestyle.
Fill out your calendar at the beginning of the semester.
This one seems like a no brainer, right? It can be simple to input all of your classes and call it a day, but this won't necessarily be the best way to set up your calendar for success. I use Google Calendar and create different calendars in order to see a bigger picture of what's going on each week. One calendar is full of my class schedules, each class separated by a different color. Next, I have a calendar full of various assignments. Remember the colors I added to my first calendar? I use those to identify which assignments are due for which class. This allows me to keep track of upcoming due dates. Lastly, I add a calendar full of important events (online, of course) and any job deadlines that might be important to note. Now I understand setting up three different calendars seems daunting at first. However, when you're trying to identify your assignments for the week without having to view your class schedule simultaneously, it will seem a bit less daunting and a lot easier to achieve all of your work.
Try to get as much done during the weekend.
By the end of the week, I understand you're wiped from classes and staring at a computer; however, this trick has allowed me to feel less overwhelmed by the time Friday rolls around. I try to get as much work done as possible during the weekend so that during the week, I can focus on my Zoom classes and not have to worry about spending countless hours on homework after I log off of Zoom. This has helped me reduce screen time per day and has me feeling more energized.
Request an office hours appointment and have constant communication with your professors.
Without trying to sound too repetitive, being online can be very tiring, making it easy to not be as successful in your courses. Make sure to stay in constant communication with your professors and share with them if you're struggling. Similarly, they're experiencing the struggles of online classes and might not realize the new difficulties you face as a student.
As cheesy as it may sound or as redundant as it may be, self-care is crucial to your success as an online student. It can be as simple as taking the time out of your morning to do your daily skincare routine or taking an hour out of your day to sit and watch reruns of your favorite tv show. It’s easy to punish yourself for not being productive throughout the day, but your mind and body need to rest as well. Give yourself that time and space to breathe and reenergize whichever ways work best for you.
It's okay to feel frustrated, sad, or upset.
Not one person on this Earth was prepared for the changes that came with a pandemic, so remember to allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with it. It's hard to no longer have those in-person family or friend connections, and I know I long for a tight hug from a loved one too. Let your feelings out and stay as connected with your loved ones as possible; even a text or phone call can make a big difference. It may be hard but remember you are doing your part to keep your family and friends safe.