Last Updated on September 14, 2020 by blendtw
Remote learning is a complete game-changer. For some students, it might be better than in-person classes. You don’t have to worry about getting yourself out of bed anymore, and the flexible schedules may be a godsend for some.
On the other hand, according to a study, many college students find remote learning to be somehow more stressful and less instructive than in-person learning.
Last spring, many universities adopted some type of pass/fail model. This allowed students who were dealing with difficult circumstances to adapt as well as they could with a fail-safe ready.
This semester, most students have been thrown back into what will look like a regular school year (at least on their transcripts, if not in reality). Here are some tips for adapting to the new school year and things to consider if remote school just isn’t for you.
1. Don’t be afraid to change your routine completely
Remote learning is completely different from regular in-person classes, and you really have to change your routine in order to make it work for you.
For example, a lot of students don’t give themselves any time between remote classes, when in reality they probably need more. Schedule snacks and walking breaks into your class schedule. And since they are already home all of the time, it’s really difficult for some people to come up with work hours.
For some students, this might sap working motivation, and for others, it might put a layer of anxiety over any relaxation time. If you’re the first kind of student, consider blocking out a specific work schedule with breaks interspersed, so you can actually get some work done.
And if you are a more anxious student, consider allocating a specific place in your dorm or apartment, or find somewhere outside, to do your work. Instead of doing work in bed or on the couch, label a specific place as your work area; this way, you won’t feel like you are constantly in a work environment, with all of the pressure that entails.
2. Start your day definitively
Part of what makes remote learning so strange is that your day never really seems to start. You can wake up, stay in your pajamas, go to class, and then fall right back asleep, staying in one room the entire time.
Don’t let this be your routine. Plan to eat breakfast. Consider doing something that makes your mornings just a little bit more pleasant with a little bit of yoga or some meditation. But try your hardest not to make classes a blip in your lounging schedule, because that will lead to disaster.
3. Schedule movement
This is probably the best way to keep yourself motivated and avoid that feeling of overwhelming laziness. As mentioned in the first tip, you have to really mix up your routine sometimes.
Do that by scheduling movement throughout the day. Go for a run in the morning. Take little walks around the block when you would normally have been walking to class.
Do some easy warm-up stretches before sitting down to another Zoom meeting. Consider putting your calls on headphones and just walking around your dorm or apartment while chatting with someone.
4. Give yourself a break
It could take a long time to adapt to virtual learning. The entire country is also in a precarious place in a lot of ways, and anxiety is totally normal. Instead of expecting your usual level of output, it’s okay to see some decreased levels of motivation and productivity.
If you see yourself struggling right off the bat, consider dropping down to a lighter class load. Many universities, though they are reverting to a regular grading system, are giving students more time to drop classes.
So take advantage of that offer if you need to! Employers will understand if you need to take fewer classes. Go for quality over quantity.
5. It’s okay if remote learning is not for you
It’s incredibly important to be honest with yourself. If this fall semester doesn’t go well and you know that a remote semester isn’t for you, consider a deferral.
The current schooling paradigm is a continuous model of going to school for 15 years straight and then entering the workforce. But that does not need to be followed by everyone. If remote learning just goes in one ear and out the other, don’t waste your education or tuition.
Consider taking a semester or quarter off in order to participate in any number of amazing remote opportunities. You can apply for an internship or think about an independent research project.
Check out volunteer positions and roles in your area or get involved with community organizing for a movement that specifically interests you. It’s also okay to take a lighter course load if that would help you retain the information you learn online better.