Online classes or some modified version of schooling at home is the new reality for a large majority of students in the country. The coronavirus pandemic has created huge education adjustment for everyone involved – students, parents, and teachers. Many are now worried – especially juniors – about how this new version of school will impact your college admission prospects next year. Before you get ahead of yourself, start by thinking of how can you stay focused and productive today. It’s important to maintain your junior year grades and to finish the year with strong learning gains. Use these school-from-home tips to make the most of your time.
- Maintain your morning routine – GET UP! Sure, it’s tempting to sleep until noon but you’ll be far better off if you stick with a schedule similar to what you had in school. Get up at the same time, get showered and dressed as you normally would, grab your breakfast and get started.
- Create a work space – Very little productivity comes from sitting on the couch or lying in bed. You need to find a work space to call your own – especially if your parents and siblings are home too. Maybe it’s in your room, or at the dining table, or even in a closet. Find a space where you can sit upright in a comfortable chair, preferably the same space each day, and as free from distractions as possible.
- Schedule breaks – Well, maybe it’s not recess but schedule breaks in your day to have a snack, go for a lap around your house, or just zone out. Just like time between classes, it’s important to take scheduled breaks throughout the day. Decide what works for you – work 45 minutes, take a 15 min break; or work for 1 hour, take a 30 min break. Also set a time for lunch.
- Have a stopping time – Stop your school work at the same time each day, just like you were in school.
- Take care of yourself – These are ever changing and stressful circumstances which can take a toll on anyone. Practice small strategies for physical and mental health each day that will help you ward off cabin fever. Get outside for a walk or other exercise (everyday if possible), stay connected with friends online, and plan to do something you enjoy each day. Play a video game, cook a favorite food, or watch a new show. It’s nice to have something to look forward to after a day of work.
Take Action You obviously didn’t choose this situation and it is understandably will take some getting used to. The goal here isn’t perfection, and some days will be easier than others. But maintaining a routine, staying in touch with teachers and classmates, and completing some school work each day will help you fight boredom and stay on track for when school resumes. Bettina Weil Weil College Advising, LLC