Tips for College Students Learning Remotely
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many college students are learning remotely this school year. Here are some tips to make the most of their learning experience.
- What is your best remote learning tip for college students?
Get to know your professors. Write them an introductory email. Go to their online office hours. Actively participate in class discussions. Make sure you stand out and build meaningful relationships with them.
- How can they stay productive with school work while learning remotely?
Be totally productive when you are working. Avoid social media or texting breaks, for example. You’ll find that when you cut out the time-wasting distractions, you don’t need so many hours a day dedicated to work to achieve the same productivity. Consider putting a sign on the door when you absolutely cannot be interrupted. Set work hours and stick to them.
- How can they study at home effectively?
For organizing your space during remote learning, get creative with your workspaces. An ironing board makes a great adjustable-height surface for laptops when working on the couch. A small rectangular folding table with adjustable height can also create a makeshift workspace. If separate rooms are not an option, use headphones with a mic. Make sure you have the essential tools at your space: device, pencils, paper, water, relevant assignments/books, etc. And if your first attempt isn’t working, try another. Move from the kitchen counter to the couch, for instance. Keep experimenting until you find something that works. For help with setting up your workspace, contact us for Student Coaching.
- What advice would you give for those adjusting to online college life?
It is vital that you continue to socialize, especially during these difficult times. For socialization, you can use apps to schedule virtual game or trivia nights, for instance. Or, another socialization option is to do drive by’s to see each other in person. Stay in your car and keep your mask on to make this safe. Or try going to a park where people are walking; often just being in the vicinity of other people is nice. You can also meet up with one friend at the park to throw a football, kick a soccer ball, or play tennis. Also, many people have found joy in visiting forest preserves (Tip: Rainy days are best because there are less people and there is more mud to muck around it).
For some me-time, go for a walk every day, making it non-negotiable regardless of weather. Sometimes take a family member, sometimes walk while on a call that doesn’t require your laptop, sometimes walk while on the phone with friends, and sometimes just listen to an audiobook or podcast. For some simple me-time, you can also just get in your car by yourself, put on your favorite music, pick a direction, and just go. Or you can hide in another room and watch a show. Whatever it is, schedule me-time and take it. It’ll never feel like there’s time for it. Take the time anyway.
- What about time management tips for online college students?
Keep to a rhythm every day and every week that most closely aligns with your natural rhythm. Sticking to a rhythm means you can be intentional about what your priorities are. For instance, try to keep the same wake up time and the same sleep time. Put this schedule on a white board. Block off times for work and school meetings first, then add in time blocks for exercising, eating, relaxing quietly, and fun. For help with setting up a routine that works, contact us for Student Coaching. If you struggle to stay focused, you can also timer to go off periodically as a reminder to check on if you are paying attention and understanding. Or you can try a Pomodoro Timer, where you work for 25 minutes then take a 5 minute break.
While these are challenging times, I hope these tips make remote learning for college students more effective and enjoyable.