COVID-19 has taken the entire world by surprise, never did I imagine that a virus would change my life this drastically. As a full time university student, my day (pre-COVID) consisted of waking up early, taking the bus to my university, and staying there until late afternoon or well into the evening. This was my norm. I would attend my classes, meet with friends to study at the library, and sometimes visit my professors at their offices to get some help. Suddenly, without much notice, all in-person classes were moved to online, university amenities were closed (aside from a few essential services), I was not allowed to meet with my friends or my professors. Exams were around the corner, I have never written an online exam nor did I know how to prepare for one!

As I was trying to adjust to what seemed to be the new norm, I have picked up a few tips and tricks that I have tried myself or learned from friends. They have helped me stay motivated and focused on my education during a global pandemic! I have decided to put these tips together in an article, for you dear reader, in the hopes that you can use some of these tips to make your online education experience the most effective.

Dedicate a place in your home for Studying!

If you don’t already have a desk/study spot, it is very important to dedicate a place in your home for studying. You can think of this place as your University/college, when you are there you are only focused on your studies. I found that I was more focused when I started attending my online classes from my desk only and not from my living room or dining room table. It’s easy for us to just open up our laptop from wherever we are, even in our bed (guilty), but dedicating a place for your classes and studying is very crucial. It makes your brain acknowledge that you are now in study mode and can’t get distracted or wander off.

Have your video on and be ready for your classes 10-15 mins before they start!

Have your notes out, a sharpened pencil and a drink of water next to you. This gives you time to test your mic and fix any technical problems you may have, also you can use this time to quickly review your notes from last class. Once your class starts, turning on your camera during your class is super important. Whenever I joined my classes by video, I felt like I was more alert and engaged. Having your camera off means you can just wander off or get easily distracted.

Have zoom study sessions with friends!

Just because you can’t meet your friend at the library or your fave study spot, it doesn’t mean you can’t study together. Call your friends and have a zoom study session. This will bring back life to your studying, allow you to catch up with friends, and making study commitments will make it harder for you to procrastinate.

Have a to-do list!

This is so cliche, but now more than ever it’s super important to stay organized. Staying home all day can make you feel lazy and less productive. Writing down the things you want to get done and checking them off throughout the day is so satisfying and will give you that much needed feeling of accomplishment.

Organize your notes and create a crib-sheet for exams, also watch out for time!

When studying for online exams, study as if you would for your normal exams. However, having online exams most likely means they will be open book. It’s very important to organize your notes for these types of exams, highlight where everything is, maybe even create a crib-sheet that you can quickly look over while solving some problems. With open book exams, it’s easy to lose track and waste time trying to have the perfect solution or flipping for formulas. My advice is to have a crib-sheet with all the important information, use it for reference to solve all your problems. Once you are done you can revise your solutions and look at your more detailed notes.

Finally, take a mental health break!

This is super important, staying home and studying all day can drive you crazy. It’s important to dedicate at least an hour of your day to exercise. This has always been the case, but your body needs this now more than ever. Due to the nature of being in quarantine, our physical activity decreases, so it’s crucial that we step outside to get some fresh air (while following social distancing rules of course). Go for a walk/run or bike around your neighbourhood, discover new places, and most importantly stay safe!

Photo by Miguel Perales on Unsplash

Drop us a comment and let us know about your study from home secrets for success!