Emily StudiesOctober 11th
2020

Most classes are looking quite different this year and the big switch to online learning can be a struggle if you've never done it before.

No worries though, as I've put together my top five tips for online classes!

Hopefully, these will help you survive whatever this school year decides to throw at you - no matter how unexpected it is!

Have a dedicated work area

If you're living in student accommodation then you have probably already realised that space is a luxury, especially when libraries and study spaces are pretty limited on campus these days. Nevertheless, even just working from the desk at the other end of your room is a good way to separate your work time and relaxation time.

Your work area doesn’t have to be boring either! Brighten it up with plants, posters and various other accessories to make your time spent studying just a little bit more enjoyable - TOTUM has a tonne of student discounts at brands like Robert Dyas and Furniture in Fashion which can save you money when you want to change up your room!

Having a dedicated study space can help you to feel more focused when you sit down to work whilst also giving you the ability to move away from the assignments that are stressing you out at the end of the day.

After all, nobody wants to feel like they can't escape their work after a stressful day of lectures and assignments.

Remove any distractions

We've all done it - it's so easy to just pick up your phone during an online lecture and start scrolling through Twitter when you were definitely only picking it up to check the time.

Having your phone beside you when you're trying to focus on a lecture can make it easy to become distracted and completely lose track of what you were meant to be doing.

If you find yourself getting distracted constantly, try moving your phone to somewhere that you can't see it such as another room or in a drawer. Hopefully, this should stop notifications from popping up and taking your attention away from the actual lecture.

You could also try downloading one of the countless apps that block you from using other apps on your phone whilst you're studying - even doing something as simple as this can make focusing on online lectures much much easier.

Try to get involved

One positive aspect of online classes is that they can offer a greater degree of anonymity than in-person ones do. Don't be afraid to put questions in the chat section or even type them on the slides if that's something that your lecturers allow you to do.

Asking questions is the best way to clarify anything that you don't understand and it can help to keep you focused on what they're teaching you.

It's also a good idea to try and answer any questions that they ask you - even if you're not 100% sure what the correct answer is! Things like polls or typing in the chat can make answering a question feel less daunting and it forces you to actively think about the information you're being taught meaning that you're more likely to remember it when it comes to revising in the future.

Take breaks away from your computer

By now you've probably realised that staring at your screen all day can lead to some not so great side effects including headaches and just feeling more tired in general.

Watching lectures and doing readings online can mean that you're spending much more time on your computer than you're used to, which means that it's even more important than usual to take breaks away from your screens.

Going for a walk, reading a book or even just finally doing that washing up that you've been avoiding are all great ways to give your eyes and brain a chance to have a break between your classes. 

Get involved in social activities too

The university experience is definitely pretty different this year but that doesn't mean that you can't get involved in the countless societies that are on offer. Even if they're not running in-person events, most societies will be running weekly online events which give you a chance to de-stress and meet some new people who share your interests.

Taking the time to relax and chill after a day of studying is just as important as actually doing the work. There is no point in studying all day if it just leaves you feeling burnt out and stressed as this will just decrease the quality of your work.

Make sure that you're giving yourself plenty of time to relax and hang out with friends - after all, that's supposed to be the fun part of university!

Although online classes are a completely new experience for most students, it's still perfectly possible to succeed and have a good time at university this year.

Hopefully, these tips will help you wrap your head around this year's chaos so that you can have an amazing year!

You can check out Emily on Instagram here.

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