We are almost to Thanksgiving in the unpredictable year that 2020 has proven to be. For college students all over the world, the COVID-19 outbreak has meant a shift in how studying, classes, socializing, and living in general are done. If you’ve felt overwhelmed at times…that’s normal! We are experiencing the unprecedented, and we’re all trying to cope as best we can. However, there are some ways to get the most out of your college experience even with social distancing measures in place. In this blog we will give some tips you can use to remain on track for success.
Making Remote Learning Work for You
1. Create a Schedule – Make a schedule that you will stick to, otherwise the days will pass by in a lockdown free-for-all binge watching Netflix instead of learning. What should be on your schedule?
Try writing a sample schedule for yourself today and include specific goals such as “Write paper,” or “Study for test.” Then cross off your goals as you achieve them and make notes about how well you were able to keep your schedule. Revise a new schedule for tomorrow based on your observations of what worked. It may help to have a white board that you can make revisions on from day to day. Continue revising your schedule until you get one that really works for you and then adjust it accordingly. When you wake up in the morning check your schedule first thing. That will help you set your pace for the day.
2. Keep Yourself Accountable – It’s easier to succeed when you have people to check in with and to motivate you. Since that’s not as possible right now, you’ll have to work a little harder to keep yourself on track. One way to do that is to create to-do lists. Some people like to write them down on paper. Others use apps or other software. List your priorities and responsibilities, short term and longer term, and put your list in a place where you will see it.
College is an enormous investment that you make in yourself. You’re doing this for a reason, so do what you can to keep your goals and responsibilities in the forefront of your mind. If you need help with this, ask someone in your life – a friend, a roommate, or a parent – to check in with you periodically so you will have that as a motivator. And reward yourself when you do meet your goals too. This year is a challenge. You should be rewarded with small treats or experiences for keeping your nose to the grindstone and doing the work.
3. Utilize Organizational Resources – There are many, many different organizational tools available to help you with organizing homework and due dates. These include:
- A personal calendar, either on paper or on your phone, whatever works for you
- To-do software
- Student planner software such as myHomework
Find an app that helps you keep track of all of your responsibilities and assignments. That will keep your brain from spinning too fast and triggering your anxiety or from forgetting to do important tasks. Once you have your organizational tools in place, it’s a matter of doing what you need to do and crossing it off your list with satisfaction.
4. Remain Plugged in Socially – There’s a reason why students prefer in-person classes over self-guided study. Humans are social animals. Hybrid classes and quarantine make it harder to create connections with other students, so you have to make an extra effort. Introduce yourself to others when you are in class, around campus, or here in our apartment community.
One student at Meadows Crossing shared that, on the way out the door after a hybrid class had ended, he started a conversation with another classmate and exchanged numbers. It’s helped him with his study habits because he’s able to talk to others in the class, ask questions, and form study groups.
5. Check in with Your Professors Virtually – It’s also much easier to remain accountable when you are checking in with your professors and TAs. Don’t forget about office hours! Most GVSU professors are offering them to their students. You can log into your professor’s blackboard or ask your professor to create a Zoom meeting for a one-on-one conversation. You can have uninterrupted time asking for help or asking questions about your assignments. If you’re struggling, take advantage of this resource. University staff are there to help you, and they know that students are struggling with these new conditions. You are not alone.
2020 may feel crazy, but we will get through it. If you find the current circumstances difficult, try the above tips to help make your college experience more manageable. A little organization goes a long way in achieving your goals.