Many students are starting this fall semester at home. Since its new to so many of us, it can be a nerve-racking time. Unlike in the spring, students will be met with new teachers, new curriculum, and new expectations. In the stress of this new and unexpected situation, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with these changes. Here are some tips and tricks to help you confidently begin this semester with your best foot forward.
1. Create a comfortable environment
Pick a spot in your home where you can work with little to no distractions. You don’t have to sit at a desk, if it isn’t the right spot for you. Creating this space can include making yourself a work playlist, picking out some snacks to keep near you, finding natural light, etc. Studying and working in an area you are comfortable in will help you stay focused and reduce stress.
2. Set your own pace
Unlike attending school in person, schooling at home allows you to set your own schedule. Just because your schedule has not been decided by your school, it does not mean that it isn’t important. In fact, creating a schedule can prevent procrastination and can help you feel more accomplished at the end of each day. Whether you create this schedule in a planner or on your phone’s calendar app, it can be a great way to separate your work and go at a speed that is right for you. In addition, you don’t have to start working at 8 AM every morning. Work at times you feel you are most awake and ready to learn. If you’re a night owl, learn to sleep in and start your school work towards the end of the day.
3. Reach out to other students
Working at home can sometimes make you feel isolated and lonely. It’s important to keep in contact with students in your classes or others who are working at home to check in about work and how everyone is doing. Making sure to reach out to your friends doesn’t just help you, it can help your friends know that they are not alone either. All of us are trying to get through this new time and all of us can use some support.
4. Take breaks
One benefit from working at home is that you have the opportunity to take breaks as you need them. Breaks can help you stay sane and stress-free during this time while also serving as rewards for hard work. After completing an assignment or studying for a large chunk of time, it’s a good idea to pause and appreciate your own hard work with a break. In addition to these breaks, try rewarding yourself with a healthy snack or an episode of your favorite TV show.
5. Ask for help
Similar to in-person school, teachers are ready to help you while you work at home. Don’t be afraid to reach out to ask for assistance. Not only do they want you to understand and feel comfortable with the curriculum, they understand that this situation is new and unparalleled. Along with supporting you academically, your teachers and administrators are ready to help provide any sort of resources that you might need.
6. Find new hobbies and things you enjoy outside of school
Don’t forget to spend time focusing on yourself. A great way to spend your extra time is by doing something you really enjoy. This can be making music, journaling, sewing, etc. Creative outlets can help you become excited to start each day and can also help those who struggle to focus. Don’t limit learning something new to just your school day. Spending time on your hobbies can also act as rewards, just like taking breaks.
7. Ease into your school work
At the beginning of every semester, no matter what school situation you are in, a giant amount of school work can be very scary. Try focusing on one or two subjects at the beginning of your online schooling to help prevent the claustrophobic feeling we’re used to experiencing the first few weeks of school. Starting with subjects you enjoy can also be beneficial to this strategy.
8. Stay organized
Staying organized can greatly affect your productivity and your spirits. It might feel pointless to stay too tidy at home but it is very important. Unlike at school, you won’t have teachers making sure your space is clean. This one is up to you. Just like other things that have been mentioned, organizing your space can be a nice break from your work and can help make you excited to begin working again.
9. Practice healthy habits
Your health is just as important as your school work. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed take some time for yourself. A benefit that comes with working at home is that if you need to take a mental health day, you can. Put yourself first and allow yourself to feel and be healthy and happy.
10. Remember why staying home is important
You aren’t doing without a good reason. By working from home you are helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 during this pandemic. Shifting your lifestyle to this extent is no easy task and can be frustrating, but it’s something we all have to try our best to make work.