This semester has been pretty rough for most students. Online classes may have some perks, but overall it's often harder to learn and remember the material. CofC just finished midterms and every student I know feels burned out. This is a very frustrating feeling and it feels like things will never return to the way they were. Remember to go easy on yourself and just do your best.
1. Write out your schedule at the beginning of every week
As someone who is big on writing out lists, this is one of my favorite things to do to start my week. Sometimes it feels like you have so many assignments you don't even know when to start. When I feel like this, I start with a list! Write out all the assignments due that week and put the exact due date down to the time. After everything is written out, you can prioritize the assignments and decide what to work on first. I find that once everything is clearly written out for me to see, I am a lot less overwhelmed.
2. Take study breaks often
Study breaks are so important! We've all been in that position where we are cramming the night before an exam with hours and hours of studying and rewriting notes. This study method is not efficient if you don't take breaks! You're more likely to retain the information if you give yourself about a 5-minute break every hour. I always make sure to stand up and stretch or take a little lap around the library at this time.
3. Don't do homework in your bed
I've heard mixed things about this one. Some people love doing their work from the comfort of their bed and some people just are not able to focus. Something I learned this week is that it's actually really bad to do homework and online class from your bed. Your bedroom should be the place where you feel relaxed and forget about stress. Your place for rest and sleep should not be the same place you do work. You will start to have negative feelings towards your room and it can even mess up your sleep pattern.
4. Establish a set sleep schedule
This is the one that I really struggle with. Sometimes I go to bed at a reasonable hour and other nights I'm up until 4 a.m. This is extremely unhealthy and I find that it usually makes my next day way less productive. It can be a hard thing to do but try to go to bed at the same time every night. Getting enough sleep will allow you to start each day refreshed.
5. Schedule time to relax
Being online for class can make you feel like you are working 24/7, we stare at a computer screen all day and when we are done classes and homework, we switch to our phones to stare at a screen even longer. Make sure you are making time to take care of yourself. Maybe that means writing out positive affirmations, getting in some beach time, or just reading a book. Relaxing looks different to everyone but you should find time for yourself to relax every day.
6. Contact your professors if you're falling behind
Our professors are just as tired of online school as we are. All of my professors have been extremely flexible and they are there to help us any way that they can. They are people too, their lives have been just as shaken up as ours. If you feel like you're falling behind or you're having trouble with the class material, it's best to just be honest with them. They will understand and then you can form a plan together to get you back on track.
7. Try to stay positive
With so much negativity and depressing news each day, it can be so hard to remain positive — but this is essential. Try to find the small things in each day that you are grateful for. It's okay to be negative, sad, or anxious, and just want to give up. We all feel like that sometimes. So when those feelings come, just let yourself feel them. Just remember to pull yourself out of it and get back on track. We are all going through this together so if you feel your mental health is suffering, please reach out to someone.
Keep pushing, we will get through this together.