Learning online can be hard to navigate if you’re not used to it. Zoom links pile up, slow internet connection can drive you nuts, and online tests can become oh-so overwhelming to handle when they consume your day-to-day life for months on end.
During times like this, we have to learn how to adapt and sometimes even change the way we approach tasks. Online learning may be new territory for many, but luckily the majority of us are in the same boat and learning as we go. With these past semesters being completely online, I’ve somehow managed to be successful in my academic life despite the reoccuring obstacles. Here’s how I did it.
Do a little bit everyday
My best piece of advice is to get ahead of the game.
Start working on assignments as you receive them. This doesn’t mean you need to finish an assignment the day you get it, but it has definitely helped me to not only manage my time better, but to get over that initial worry as well.
If I have practice problems due for a class, I like to divide the number of questions by how many days I have to complete it and go from there, working on it piece by piece, day by day.
Buying a planner has really come in handy in this regard. Overall, by doing this, I avoid rushing through homework and getting overwhelmed. It even brightens my mood— like, I have a week left to turn this in and I’m already 25 percent done? Best mood-booster.
Work with your friends!
This can be more difficult with social distancing regulations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t Facetime or Zoom. Working with my peers has definitely helped answer any questions I have on class materials and it’s a great way to stay in contact with those you no longer see as frequently due to COVID-19.
However, I think there’s definitely a right and wrong way to do this. I recommend working on assignments before working with others. Give it a try beforehand and you’re less likely to get lost when others are already up-to-speed. Doing this will lead to work getting done faster.
Get your beauty sleep
If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, your brain won’t retain information as well, so do whatever it takes to get well-rested.
Melatonin? White noise? Sleep mask? I don’t judge, do what you got to do! It’s well worth it.
Also, if possible, try separating studying from your bed. Leave your bed for sleeping and relaxing. Research shows that doing homework in bed leads to less effective studying and worse sleep quality. This might not be practicable for everyone, but if you’re able to, try exploring new spots to get your work done.
Take advantage of office hours
The best person to consult with if you’re confused on a subject is the very person teaching it.
Even if you have a simple question, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Coming from the daughter of a professor, I know they genuinely want to help and see you succeed in the end. Plus, they appreciate students who put in the effort.
Review notes regularly
Look through your notes regularly. I’ve noticed that by sitting down and flipping through my notes after every week of classes, I’ve become more comfortable with the material I’m learning.
Making study sheets makes this process easier and review faster. A lot of the time, I’ll re-write important information, like equations, onto a piece of paper and look through it every once in a while.
This way, all of your notes on a topic can be found in one place. I found this to be extremely valuable especially during those final moments in class before an exam when I felt like I needed a quick brush-up.
Learning during this unprecedented time has been difficult. Information is being taught to us in many different ways that we’re not quite used to after years and years of in-person teaching. The stress that comes from this can take a hit on your GPA, but there are a lot of easy ways to combat this and keep your GPA from sinking.
By just incorporating some of these easy tips into your routine, you’re ready to take the school year head-on.