Prior to my state’s official quarantine, we put a hold on our regular school year in substitute for a brief two weeks of online school due to COVID-19. For those two weeks, the cases in the United States were soaring, eventually turning the ‘brief’ two weeks of remote learning into the plan for the rest of the school year.
This year is going to be similar. All of my classes will be instructed over video calls and online chats, with the option of two in-person days a week. At first, I was not ready for the online school transition because I felt unprepared and didn’t know what to expect; however, having a clearer vision and time to plan, I want to arrange a structure in hopes of making the best out of the situation.
If you are like me and will not be returning to school full-time, below are a few products to improve your at-home learning setup and a few tips regarding your organization and mental health to get back into the swing of things for this upcoming school year.
Create your own space
One issue that I had frequently during the switch to online schooling was dealing with the constant distractions around me. Creating a designated space for you to do work is a vital key for focusing as well as motivating yourself for completing your assignments. Keep the space clean and inviting and include some of the things you like; for example, in my space, I have plants because I love greenery. By all means, you do not have to sit in the same spot all day; on the contrary, having a place where you will not get distracted is a nice option to have when you hit crunch times that require your complete focus.
Not only are planners beneficial for organizational purposes, but they are also cute! Scheduling your days by listing assignments and keeping track of your tests will be a great motivator; however, if a written planner is not your thing, I have a digital option as well.
Download the app “Egenda”
This app will let you add in your personal class schedule, neatly organizing all of your classes with a color. It also lets you enter due dates for your assignments and set reminders about tests.
The app and planner was a vital key to figuring out my workflow because I could see everything all in one place. I suggest giving one, if not both, a try!
Do two things a day that make you happy
I do not know about you, but as online school became normal, I felt like I was losing my mind. Doing the exact same thing every day with no versatility made me anxious. So to keep myself mentally healthy, I began doing two things every day that made me happy. A few things I did included reading, planting, listening to a podcast, drinking a cup of coffee on my porch, going on walks, and doing my nails. Find things you enjoy and be sure to incorporate them into your schedule so you set aside time just for you.
Try to find a routine
This upcoming school year I want to create a more structured routine. As the online schooling situation is beyond common, having some day-to-day consistency will help to return that sense of normalcy that you may be missing. Try waking up at the same time or schedule daily walks. You will find that you are feeling more accomplished and fulfilled by completing your routine.
I can not rave about this product enough! I found that doing my school-work online, for sometimes five hours straight, caused a lot of strain on my shoulders as I was often slumped downwards typing on my laptop. So I purchased a laptop riser. It is a platform that raises your laptop to a higher level. Now I do not experience the painful pressure on my shoulders because I have a higher platform to type off of. I purchased mine on Amazon.
Keep in contact with friends and family
Normally you would have an eight hour day of socializing with your peers in school, but since online is the new norm, adjusting your social life is important. Social distancing or not, it’s important to communicate and maintain the relationships in your life that mean something to you. Stream movies together or talk about life face-to-face using technology like Netflix Party or FaceTime or sporadically plan small social-distance hangouts with a small circle of your closest friends.
Best of luck this year!