So I put it out there that I would offer up some information about how I cope with online school. Please keep. in mind I was homeschooled and I really excel at studying in quiet environments and doing school on my own time, rather than when someone tells me I have to. I personally love either doing school in small class sizes (10 or less) or doing it at home.
Now, this is not the best learning environment for everyone, I get that. But I am going to do my best to generalize these tips, so you can take them and put your own learning style on them. I apologize if these don’t work for you, but I highly recommend you searching up ways you can. incorporate your own learning style into this next year of study.
All of these ideas are things that I do but they do not happen all of the time. Some days and weeks are better than others. That’s okay. Not every day will be great and the first few months will be hard. But the more you give yourself slack for relearning how to learn the better off you will be. You are relearning how to learn and that’s okay.
Hannah’s Learning at Home Success Guide
Active studying and talking out loud when you’re going through a complicated thought process or something that you need to retain. Saying it out loud I find, sticks better than when I read it in my head.
Study at the right time/if you have asycronsis take advantage of it. Not every time of day is going to be your prime time for getting the best work out of you. I personally work best either when I first wake up or right before I go to bed. I am not very productive in the afternoon though. So understanding and finding those right times for you, will go a long way. It’s okay to not be productive all the time.
Need a break take a break… want to stay productive, clean up your study area, put the dishes away, go for a 15 min walk, etc. Allow yourself those mental breaks. Have writers block or just focusing on other things that are making it hard for you to get your work done? Then go do something else. Don’t put yourself in a worse mood because you can’t study, instead do something else until you’re ready to go back to it.
Create a timetable… I am personally terrible at this, but on the weeks it does happen, my time management goes way up in effectiveness.
Use a timer. Set a time for 45 minutes or an hour or something like that and work without distractions for those 45 minutes and then go do something else for 15-30 minutes. Then come back and do another 45 minutes.
Coffee shops and libraries work well if you’re someone who needs to be around people… as well as small study groups. My friends and I like to get together and study even if we are all studying different things. It’s having that presence of others that works really well in keeping us on track.
Write down due dates on your calendar 24-48 hours before they’re due… set reminders and alarms (this is good for those who like to procrastinate)
Clean work space is key – most productive when you’re happy in your space
Have a notebook or folder for every class.
Put literally everything in your calendar/planner – including, breaks, lunch, other activities, hobbies, personal time, going into overtime for anything.
Health and wellness
Have a snack drawer – mine is filled with granola bars, candy, ice tea, gummy candy and anything else I may want while I’m studying. It’s okay to give into those cravings if it’s going to help you in the long run.
Stay on a routine
incorporate physical activity and stretching into your everyday
Don’t forget to brush your teeth and shower. This is good to do whether you’re in school or not…
Make your bed every morning
CLEAN your workspace after every big assignment
For me, my physical activity is the first thing to go when I get stressed and overwhelmed. But it also happens to be one of the best things to keep me from getting overwhelmed. Which is also why having a routine is so important. Because if I know that everyday I am going to spend 30 minutes, outside, whether it’s going for a walk, run or skateboarding… or on my lower days just sitting on the deck and listening to music or journalling. I need those 30 minutes of outdoors. That’s a key part of my routine, that I can’t afford to loose but typically goes first. So I am working on that. But I also highly recommend that you also give yourself a minimum for your daily dose of outdoors.
I’ve heard many times that you should make your bed everyday, because even when you have a bad day you’ve at least done something productive. This is a good motivator to stay out of bed and to do something else. I am more productive on the days I make my bed than the days I don’t.
All of this to say, that not everything I do is going to work for you, but if there’s anything I wish that everyone would remember is that, you are relearning how to learn and that you need to prioritize your mental wellbeing. Don’t put yourself down because this isn’t the best learning environment for you. It’s okay that it’s not. It’s going to be hard and that’s okay.
Take your time to get used to this way of life and find the things that best work for you. But I highly encourage outdoor breaks and being kind to yourself, EVERYDAY.