With the mention of college or university, what comes to mind? You’re probably imagining walking around a big campus and running from class to class so you don’t get late for the next subject. College could probably be imagined by getting coffee early in the morning on the way to school because you need a kick from your late-night spent studying. Likewise, it could also be about getting headaches and sleeping in class because you were drunk the night before and are now suffering a difficult case of hangover.
You’ve probably been longing to go to college and excited to meet new people. You would now have been far away from home and living with a total stranger who’s supposed to be your roommate. What a dream! But all that has changed now.
The Impact of COVID-19
Late in 2019, we’ve already had news reports about a new Coronavirus strain. It was deadly, and a lot of people had already been infected in China. Everyone was preparing for the worst, but nobody knew it would actually be uncontrollable.
A lot of things had happened in the course of just a few months: schools closed down, businesses were shut, people got laid off from their jobs, and some even lost their lives. The virus had spread like wildfire, and the world finally declared that it was under a pandemic.
With the closing of borders and quarantine set for families, academic institutions had to recover from the long pause of not being able to provide education to the youth. Thus, they set out to find the best solution – the Internet.
By making use of the Internet, schools were able to setup websites and email accounts for students to engage into online classes. Over the lockdown period, they carefully planned how they would move forward and trained their teachers to be the best source of knowledge for the children.
Distance learning has been the answer to all their problems. Students didn’t have to go out of their homes to attend school. The new option was to go online through their available devices and access their learning materials through the websites or applications they were uploaded to.
How to Adjust to Online Classes
However, even as the different academic institutions made rigorous preparations, they failed to analyze how this would affect the students. Will everyone be able to cope? With that in mind, here are a few options or tips you can follow if you’re having a hard time adjusting your online college life experience.
1. Be patient. Everyone is so eager to go to college given all the things that could possibly happen during your stay in university. However, all this excitement went down the drain when people were put on quarantine. Everyone, as well as all the hyperactive and excited teenagers, were asked to stay at home to reduce the chances of contracting the virus.
The current academic arrangement is new to everybody, so it’s not a surprise when there are things that will suddenly go wrong. Your drive to attain the best possible education is continuous, so going online doesn’t have to stop you from doing your best. With this, practice being patient in the different processes involved to complete online classes, because everyone is still learning and trying to adapt.
Also, most students today are well-equipped with knowledge to swim through different technological innovations, but some teachers are not, especially those who are already old. Be patient when they need more time to find the screen sharing button at Zoom or if they have questions on how to manipulate Google Classroom. Likewise, always give a helping hand because these teachers will also be the ones who will nurture you throughout the duration of your educational endeavor.
2. Prepare a silent work area. Do a room makeover that will be dedicated to your online classes. Once you start with school, you will need a silent space to be able to listen intently to your teacher’s discussion. Prepare a tranquil area for yourself, because being surrounded by noise will not fare well for anybody.
Your silent space will allow you to concentrate and work productively on your subject requirements. Likewise, your class will also not be disturbed when you’re asked to speak because the rest of the class will not hear any background noise from you.
3. Make a class schedule. Just like going to a university, you’re given a set schedule for your classes. Not having to wake up early to prepare for a trip to school will mean that it’s easier for you to forget that you have a class online because you’re not pressured to get up early. Let this not be the case.
Continue to use your alarm and we wary of five-minute snoozes just because you still want to snuggle in bed. Follow your set schedule and don’t be late for class. Just because you’re doing it online right now doesn’t mean you can easily slack off. Your teachers will still record your attendance, and you still have a responsibility to learn.
4. Reserve time for studying. Being at home all the time makes you a bit lazy unless you decide to mix things together to keep you entertained. Likewise, in studying, you need to also be consistent to achieve the best results.
Make sure to allot two hours of your day to studying. This will allow you to keep your mind going and be educated. You’re right, the teacher discussed everything in class already, but you can always make room for more information. If not, you can review your course materials. The time you spend for studying also includes making your homework and projects so that you don’t get left behind. It’s a tough process, but it will pay off eventually.
5. Meditate. Sometimes school can be so stressful that there’s a tendency that you might get burned out. Aside from proper time management, you need to make sure that you are spiritually calm.
Meditating and spending quiet time alone with your thought will help you organize everything else easily. This is because all the negative emotions and ideas you’ve been holding inside will slowly be released to make room for positivity.
Exercise can also be a form of meditation. Aside from extracting all the pressure you have in your system, you can also keep yourself healthy. Being at home has probably put you in a standstill and you might have also gained some weight. This is a chance for you to lighten up and be the best version of yourself.
6. Acknowledge how you feel. It’s okay to feel tired. With all the requirements piling up, it’s normal to feel exhausted. Thus, don’t push your feelings aside. Sometimes, all you need to do is accept the fact that you’re not okay.
Admitting defeat is not a sign of being weak. Coincidentally, it’s actually a sign of strength because it’s difficult to let others or even yourself know that you’re struggling. Keeping your feelings to yourself might cause you to do things you’re not supposed to. Thus, practice openness and do not be shy to ask for help.
7. Ask for help. When you feel like you’re spiraling down to depression because of the frustration of going to online classes and having to be at home all the time, ask people for help. It’s difficult and hard to reach out because you might get judged for complaining when everyone else is in the same boat as you. But remember that not everybody has the same coping mechanism.
Some people might thrive in isolation, but those who are not used to the silence and solidarity will find it hard to adjust. Every day will become a constant struggle to wake up. But this doesn’t have to end up with you telling yourself that your feelings are invalid. They’re valid, and people are willing to talk to you and help you get through it.
Learn to read the signs when you feel like you’re not doing so well. Sometimes, you might not want to eat or do anything at all. Also, there could be times when you can’t even sleep. Talk to your friends or your parents. Even your teachers can help.
8. Decrease your screen time. Now that you are taking online classes, most of your day will probably be spend in front of your computer screen or your phone. Aside from damaging your eyesight, too much screen time can also give you a migraine.
It’s time to unplug. Once you’re done with all your online activities, get off your phone or desktop and close your eyes for a while. You can also hang out in the porch or sit at your backyard and appreciate nature. This will help your eyes and mind relax and keep you less stressed.
9. Take breaks and find a hobby. All work and no play? That is the perfect ingredient to deteriorate your mental health. After spending a whole morning in class, take a short break. Ten to fifteen minutes are enough to help you relax. Do this regularly every two hours.
After a while, you’ll notice that you feel happier and more willing to continue attending your online classes. Life is not a race – college definitely isn’t. Take your time in completing your tasks and allow short breaks for easier adjustment.
You can also find a new hobby whenever you feel frustrated. This may serve as a good kind of distraction to keep your mind off things for a short time. Make your hobby something you love doing or something you’re interested in learning.
Hobbies don’t also necessarily mean having to do arts and crafts like painting or taking pictures. As a form of stress relief, your new hobby can include fangirling over famous artists or watching Netflix films that will keep you excited to constantly hit the “Next Episode” button.
10. Ask questions. When something is not clear during the discussion, grab the opportunity to ask your teacher to clarify the murky parts. Distance learning is not the same as face to face where you can easily tap your classmate’s shoulder and ask them to repeat what the teacher just said.
In online classes, you are left to fend for yourself. So when there’s a chance to ask, do it, because you might not get any second chances. It takes a lot of courage to speak up, but remember that you’re doing this for you and your self-improvement.
11. Stick to your goal. Just like normal face-to-face university classes, you have a set of goals you’re planning to achieve by the end of the semester. Well, your goals shouldn’t change just because you’re taking classes at home already.
With less distractions from the outside, you can now focus better in doing well in your classes. The vast space in the Internet will allow you to find better resources and books that were available in the school’s physical library. Know where to look and do a deep research to learn more about your current subjects in school.
12. Get enough sleep. Just because you’re busy with paper works and other scholarly requirements doesn’t mean you get to allow your body to deteriorate. Sometimes, you get too exhausted and end up having to stay up all night to finish your homework. While this is unavoidable, make sure to still get enough sleep.
Sometimes eight hours of sleep is impossible because the next day, you’ll have to wake up early to go to school. Thus, make sure to schedule a light weekend to allow yourself more time to sleep in and snooze. Recharge your body and eat nutritious food, because you will be needing the energy for next week’s battle against schoolwork.
Whether you’re just starting out as a freshman, a masters student, or someone who wishes to complete their online ph.d studies, make sure to follow these tips to make studying and going to school easier. While college is quite expensive, there are many different schools that can provide you the best price along with the assurance that you will get proper education.