Ready for round two of school-from-home? No? Probably not and that’s okay.
The move to online learning was tough last year and the knowledge that it is a return to studying at home that lies ahead is an understandable challenge. It’s okay to feel uncertain, stressed, fed-up or even all of the above.
There may be obstacles in place but there are also some practical steps that you can take to help make the path ahead that little bit smoother. Here is our tried and tested advice to help ease you back into online learning.
Set yourself up with a routine
This was definitely one of the toughest challenges that accompanied learning from home last March. Managing your time and workload can become very tricky, very quickly. Aim to set yourself an approximate routine for the first week.
Be prepared to adjust this to suit the arrangements made by your school. The first few days may require you to be flexible to fit into this new way of learning so don’t panic if it takes a little while to settle on a routine that suits your situation. Undesirable though it may be, starting early in the morning can make a massive difference to your day.
Avoid writing off your days
Sometimes the best laid plans just get thrown so far out the window that it seems utterly pointless to even try to pick them up. That’s okay. Getting up on the wrong side of the bed gains a new meaning when your “classroom” is suddenly just beside your bed!
If your morning hasn’t gone well and you feel you have achieved nothing, do not simply write off the day. There may be instances where you feel this is useless but if possible, try to pick it up again. Even if you only manage half an hour or an hour that will put you 30 or 60 minutes ahead of yourself.
Manage your motivation
Admittedly the idea of sitting at a desk and staring at a screen for hours is not an overly inspiring one. Scheduling in breaks will divide up the day and also give you a little incentive to look forward too. Do not overlook the value of a small motivating reward, even if it is only a cup of tea or a Netflix episode that evening. Often the greatest challenge is motivating yourself to start something.
Set yourself a short and achievable task to be completed at your workspace. You might not be able to find the motivation to move to sit at your desk for three hours. But try to persuade yourself to sit there for fifteen or twenty minutes. You will often find that you’re able to prolong your working time by little increments once you start.
Fuel your brain
Nutritious food is not just good for your body but also your brain. Give yourself the best chance possible by maintaining your energy levels. A snack or hot drink can also offer a quick break between online classes. For sometime lunchtime inspiration check out our favourite lunch ideas!
Leave your bedroom
Most students will now be spending significant periods of the day in their rooms. Over time the fact that your leisure space, sleep space and study space have all become one, can contribute to difficulties sleeping or focussing.
Between online classes or study sessions, aim to move to somewhere else in the house or out into the fresh air. This will give your mind the chance to take a little mental recharge. Where possible, try to get out for a short walk after repeated days cooped up studying.
Check in on your friends
This collection of tips will hopefully be able to offer you some supportive approaches to the next academic term. However, the most effective means of help is likely to come from your friends and family so don’t be afraid to reach out to them if you’re struggling. Equally remember to check in on your friends too.
As always there are helplines available to offer further help.
Online learning poses some challenges but there are wide networks of supports available. Keep in mind that we are all capable of more than we realise but also that our academic results do not define us.
How are you preparing for online learning?