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Worried about motivation after break for online classes? CAPS has some tips.



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Sophomore Brandon Barnes studies outside Feb. 2 between Franklin Hall and the Indiana Memorial Union. Chris Meno, Counseling and Psychological Services associate director, recommends students schedule breaks to help them stay motivated during remote learning. Sarah Zygmuntowski

New challenges are likely to affect studentssince IU has extended spring break by a week and switched to remote learning due to the spread of COVID-19. IU’s Counseling and Psychological Services has tips for staying motivated for the remainder of the semester. 

CAPS Associate Director, Chris Meno, said in an email to the Indiana Daily Student that it is important for students to maintain a normal sleep schedule when classes resume instead of following what they may normally do on vacation. 

“Instead of being tempted to stay up late and wake up late like when you're on vacation, go to bed at night and get up each morning at the same time as usual,” Meno said in the email. “Shower, eat breakfast and then get ready to 'go' to class as you have in the past.” 

Meno also recommends that students complete their online work in an area they have designated for it, instead of completing assignments in bed or on the couch, to help them feel as if they are still going to class.

She said it is important to help your body, mind and emotions heal from burnout, such as getting at least seven hours of sleep every night and avoiding drugs and alcohol.

“Scheduling in breaks and 'time off' from academic work (rather than just waiting until you are too tired or burnt out to do more) can help our brains,” Meno said in the email.

Though Meno recommends treating each day like any other in the semester, she said readjusting will likely be harder for some students and because people are so different from one another. 

Instead of working until they are burnt out and too tired to do anything, Meno recommends scheduling breaks and using them to do something they enjoy, which will help students feel rejuvenated.

“Planning to do more things that bring you joy and satisfaction can help you,” Meno said.

The sudden change may lead students to have difficulty managing their mental health, but Meno said students have the option to make 30 minute counseling sessions over the phone or video chat through the IU Health Center appointment line, 812-855-7688. The crisis line, 812-855-5711, and the sexual assault crisis line, 812-855-8900, will both be available 24/7.

Sophomore Catherine Saunders said she tries to take advantage of school breaks by not thinking about her coursework at all. She saves any homework she may have due the Monday classes start for the day before so she can relax during the time off.

“I normally don’t think about school at all over break so I feel a little better coming back,” Saunders said, before the second week of spring break was announced

Now that classes will be online for the rest of the semester, Saunders said she thinks classes will be more difficult because of the discipline required. 

She said classes with big lecture halls will be especially difficult because the students will now be expected to learn at an even greater distance than the one already created by such a large group of students.

Saunders thinks it will be difficult not only for students, but faculty as well.

“I could potentially see it being more work on my end, and honestly everyone’s end,” Saunders said.

Freshman Yasmeen Uribesaid she thinks the hardest part of having all online classes will be getting motivated to focus on school while at home.

“I’ll prioritize school before what I normally do at home,” Uribe said.

She said it will be helpful to write out everything she has to do for her classes before making other plans and to focus on time management.

Uribe said she does not have any homework due the day after spring break but when she does have something to do, it helps her to think that the time she has set aside is all the time that she has to do it.

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