Indiana Daily Student

Column: How IU students can adapt for our second online semester

College teaches students valuable lessons both inside and outside the classroom.  However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, our campus has looked much different from what we are used to. We have had to learn to adapt to online learning and events while the world around us irreparably changes.

Last semester came with online classes, a difficult election, protests and figuring out how to live our lives as normally as possible. These distractions can cause students to lose focus on important responsibilities such as school. However, that was last semester and we don’t talk about 2020 anymore. Spring semester is here and it is time to redeem our grades, our social lives and our plans. 

Remote learning can be stressful at times, so it’s best to prepare yourself. According to a report from University Business, 75% of college students reported feeling more anxious or stressed due to online learning. Online courses have affected students' abilities to put their best foot forward because of  a lack of learning in a physical classroom. Additionally, Education Data found that 63% of students indicated online instruction is worse, compared to in-person instruction. Here are some tips to help you navigate the spring semester. 

Manage your Time

In college, it is important to make sure you are using your time wisely. It is vital to get assignments done on time — the earlier the better. The best way to track your assignments is to write them down. A planner allows you to break up assignments and due dates in order to get tasks done in a timely manner while not overloading yourself and prioritize what is important. 

You can color code to separate the big and small tasks of your week. Writing in color instantly creates an immediate relationship between the student and their work, according to How Color Coding Formulaic Writing Enhances Organization,

Timezy, an appointment scheduling website, stated if you spend 10-12 minutes planning your day, you’ll save up to 2 hours of time that would have otherwise gone to waste. Checklists and planners go hand in hand.  

Cutting out distractions, such as your cell phone, can also help you stay focused. You never realize just how much time passes while you’re on your phone either. Research has shown that college-age students in the U.S. spend an average of 8–10 hours per day on a smartphone.

Take a Break

Taking breaks is important when you’re dealing with stress and anxiety. According to Open Colleges, an education blog for editors, students who are overloaded with school work experience higher levels of stress and more physical problems such as sweating, headaches, exhaustion, stomach problems or sleeping difficulties. 

Overloading yourself with school work and studying could take a negative toll on your body.

If I am dedicating an hour to studying, I find that taking a fifteen minute break after the first thirty minutes helps a lot. During this break you can check your phone, get a snack, do a quick workout or take a nap. This will create more endorphins, resulting in the feeling of more energy. 

Set Goals

During your academic journey, you should set goals for yourself that highlight things you want to accomplish. Goals can range from getting an A on an exam to getting to class on time every day.

Writing down your goals can motivate you to be more persistent in achieving them. According to an article from Mary Morrissey in the Huffpost, you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams by simply writing them down on a regular basis. When setting goals, ask yourself: What do I want to achieve? Why do I want this? How can I go about this? How will this benefit me? When do I want to achieve this goal? 

No matter what, school should be one of your top priorities and you should do whatever it takes to prepare yourself for excellence. An education can take you far and open many doors for you. Regardless of how you got here, you are in school for a reason. 

Some other aspects that I find are important to a great semester are eating regularly, being active and finding something outside of school that interests you. That could bebe getting involved in an organization, a hobby or something else you do in your free time. Try not to  overwhelm yourself by only focusing on school or you’ll stress yourself out and have no motivation to get anything done. 

Have a great semester, everyone!

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