Virtual learning is not for everyone. Some students find it hard to adapt to this change. The shift to online studying has been so unexpected and immediate that some students have trouble adjusting to this new setup. Online classes can also be overwhelming. With the large amount of schoolwork assigned to students, it is not surprising that some may find it stress-inducing.
The feeling of being overwhelmed and the dread to begin doing tasks may result in procrastination. And when you procrastinate and delay finishing your work, you fall behind your online classes – leading you to feel stuck. It might seem impossible to overcome this feeling, but there are ways to get past it and stay motivated. Here is a list of 7 tips that can help you when you are stuck with online school responsibilities:
1. Stay Ahead
Make sure to download your lecture slides on your note-taking app (if you take digital notes) or have them printed out. If you use Microsoft Word and take your notes digitally, it is advisable to convert Word to PDF so that your file will not have unnecessary changes when printing them out. Doing this prepares you the night before, so you are set before your class discussion.
Remember to complete all your pre-lecture readings if there are assigned ahead of time or the night before. It is always a good idea to stay on top of the class material.
2. Make and Commit to a To-Do List
If you find yourself overwhelmed with a demanding amount of activities and do not know where to start, listing it off might help. Create a to-do brain dump. Rather than keeping everything in your head, list out every task that comes to mind. Prioritize based on due dates, difficulty, and grade. From there, start with the easiest task, tick things off your list, and build momentum.
3. Find Study Strategies That Work Well for You
There are tried and effective study techniques out there. All you have to do is try them out and find which one works best for you. Once you find a study strategy suitable for your learning, adapt it. It will help you retain information properly, efficiently and help you do well in class. A few of the common study techniques are the following.
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● The Pomodoro Method
Set a timer for up to 25 minutes and at every interval, give yourself a small break that can last for ten to fifteen minutes. If you set your timer for up to 50 minutes, you can also get a longer break.
● Visual Learning
Incorporate drawings, diagrams, concept maps, and charts into your notes and review them. Seeing visual presentations of your topics might help in understanding concepts and information more effectively.
● Active Recall
After you finish reading and studying a chapter or a lesson, close your handout and try to repeat what you just read. If you happen to blank on the information and forget, it indicates you did not absorb the topic well enough.
● Use of Flashcards
If your course requires a lot of memorizing, flashcards will be your best choice! Practicing with flashcards engages your brain actively, and you are more likely to retain information.
● Creative Mnemonic Devices
A mnemonic device is a technique where you remember information by using acronyms, songs, or poems. Rhythm-based options work best because they trigger the acoustic encoding in our brains and last there longer.
4. Virtual Study Groups
Finding a study buddy is a great way to overcome the feeling of being stuck. Having a friend to hold you responsible and at the same time look out for you will help a lot with dealing with online classes.
Plan virtual study groups with your friends and review your notes together. Ask each other questions; they can also be a lot of help in preparing for an exam. Explaining a lesson to someone verbally can also help in retaining information. It is an effective technique to understand and learn concepts better.
5. Take Control Over Your Actions
Sometimes, performing tasks that you have complete control over helps to reset your mind and look at everything with a positive mindset. For instance, you can re-arrange your study space or clean your room. Tasks like these might help in calming yourself down and lessen your stress.
6. Acknowledge Your feelings
While there are various steps you can take to create a routine and maintain productivity, every now and then a lack of motivation may set in, and you could find it challenging to accomplish the task at hand. It is encouraged that individuals first try to recognize when their motivation is low. And determining the reason behind that comes second.
Acknowledging that you are stressed or feeling overwhelmed can help you in more ways than you think. Accept your thoughts, write them down, take a step back, and assess your thoughts and feelings.
Try to increase your interest in work. There may be times where you go over a task that seems rather tedious. Instead of delaying and waiting for days to go by before you start doing it, think about how you can turn this into a more engaging task. Using this strategy means using your imagination to modify your perspective of the task at hand creatively.
7. Take a Break and Return with a Fresh Mind
Taking a break from mentally strenuous work is a vital point in staying motivated. You can go for a walk, cook your favorite meal, read a book that you enjoy, watch videos to clear your mind, listen to music that you love, or you can go for a drive around. You know yourself best. Do activities that you enjoy doing and those that help you refresh your mind. It will help you come back to work with a fresh mindset.
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Your Struggles Are Valid, and You Can Overcome Them
Taking online classes is not always smooth sailing. There will be challenges and stepbacks. It is normal to feel stressed and unmotivated at times. Adjusting to this new setup is not easy, but there are ways to make it more bearable. You just have to find the ones that will suit you and your learning style the best.
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