Apr 9, 2020 | Atlanta, GA
With the recent changes to academics as we know it, it’s important to us that our students are completing their coursework for the semester. Online learning requires a new level of self-discipline, prioritization, and increased motivation. While the concept of full-time online education is new to many, several useful tips can help with adjusting.
Set Your Coursework Goals
Before beginning to study or attend online classes, take some time to set a few realistic goals and objectives for learning. Your goals can be anything from achieving all A’s or learning to balance your work with protecting your mental health. Whatever goals you set for yourself, remember to check them periodically to track your progress throughout the semester. List out a timeline of action items that can help you reach excellent results. Having a clear vision of what you would like to accomplish will keep you focused.
Create a Study Space
Whether you have a desk in your home or an area that can be turned into a mini workstation, it’s essential to have a dedicated study space. You want the area to be free of all distractions such as your television, gaming systems, etc. If you live with others, it would be beneficial to ask your housemates to keep all noise levels down during your study time. Remove your phone from your area, unless needed for class, to also limit distractions.
Develop a Plan
The key to self-discipline is planning and setting time limits for getting tasks done. Your professors will have a reliable schedule for you to follow for classes, but it’s up to you to keep up with assignment deadlines and carve out time to study. Start by creating a calendar with all due dates. To-do lists should be your best friend! Keep a daily running list or sticky notes, so you do not leave any task undone, big or small.
Schedule Study Breaks
While you need to complete your work, it’s just as vital for you to rest and reset. No deadline is worth sacrificing your mental strength while studying. Take moments to stretch, eat a healthy snack, walk around your home, read a book for leisure, or take a nap.
Do What Works for You
If you’ve tried a study method that isn’t entirely helpful, then revise your approach and try again. Maybe your current workspace doesn’t promote a healthy work environment – move some things around or go to another area in your home. You may also find that your existing calendar and organization system is not helpful. It’s okay to try something new until it feels right.
Seek Support & Ask for Help
The most important thing to remember is that we’re in this together. As a member of our Georgia Tech community, we encourage you to lean on your classmates for support and contact your professors if you are feeling behind or struggling to adapt. Participate in online discussions to engage with your class and keep up with what’s going on. You may also want to form virtual study groups through Zoom, Google Hangouts, GroupMe, Slack, or other apps for video calls and chatting. (Online discussion boards and study groups are also helpful during periods of social distancing.) Transitioning to full-time online learning can cause confusion, anxiety, and pressure for many, so do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.
You can still finish the semester strong. Think positive thoughts and consume positive messages. It may be helpful to disconnect from the negativity floating around the news and social media for a while. You can post motivational quotes around your workspace to keep you going. Incentivize yourself with your favorite things when you accomplish milestones during the semester.
We will get through this – one step at a time!