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9 Tips to Make the Best out of Your Online Classes

Recently, after a delay of two weeks, my fourth semester at university started and as it is for almost everyone right now it is taking place online. Now while it being a challenge to adapt to this new situation and deal with everything going on in your life during these crazy times I like to see it as chance and tackle it as well as I can. As for now besides overloaded servers and loading issues online classes are going really good for me.

Before I started this semester I sat down and made some sort of a plan on what I want to do to keep on top of things. Today I want to share these tips with you

Follow a structure/schedule

Tips for Studying Online - 9 Tips to Make the Best out of Your Online Classes

I have learned it the hard way that I need certain structures in my life. Without them, I don’t get anything done and feel bad about it all day. To keep up with my classes and not get behind I decided to follow the schedule we were given before we knew the semester would be taking place online. But you could easily come up with a schedule that works best for you. I am most productive in the morning so I try to get up early and get things done before lunch.

Try to sleep consistently

This goes along with following a certain structure. Since I work best in the morning and feel a lot better during the day if I get up early I am trying to get up before eight am. Now that I finally have things to do, this is a lot easier than it was the weeks before. If you work best at night you might want to adjust your sleeping schedule to that. The best thing of having to stay at home is that you don’t have to plan around others and can follow your own rhythm.

Take notes

Tips for Studying Online - 9 Tips to Make the Best out of Your Online Classes

Always take notes. At home, there are a lot of distractions and it is really easy to just put your class on and drift away in thought. By taking notes you can make sure you are actually following the lesson. This makes it so much easier to study for the exam later on as you have already processed the information before. One of my favorite thing about online classes is that I can go through everything at my own pace which leaves me enough time to make my notes look pretty. I love doing that and it makes me look forward to work on them.

Make the best out of the tools you have

The advantage of doing things online is that you can use a lot of tools to make your experience better. For me, that is pausing and going back on the audio or video as often as I need to to get things down. I also like to use a tool on our learning platform which lets you speed up the video. It is really helpful if the person talking is talking really slow. If you are doing your classes live you can probably screen record them and go through them again later on. Try out different things and find your way around.

Make to-do lists

Tips for Studying Online - 9 Tips to Make the Best out of Your Online Classes

As you might know I like to keep track of things in my bullet journal creating weekly, daily and sometimes even monthly to-do lists. You don’t have to go that crazy but having a simple overview of what you have to do and when it is due might help you to stay on top of things. The way I like to do it is to have a general uni to-do list on my weekly spread and then keep track of the task by adding them to my daily to-do lists as well.

Talk to your friends

Although you can’t talk to your friends in person, it can be beneficial to still talk about the classes you are taking online. Every time you talk about the information it gets easier to remember it again later. While I would probably talk to my friends during class I now message them if I have a question or even if I just need to let anyone know what I am thinking about. It also prevents me from isolating myself from everyone which I did over the previous weeks.

Keep your desk clean

When studying I try to only keep the things I need on my desk

Every time before I sit down to work I make sure to clean off my desk first. A cluttered desk makes it harder for me to think and say focused. There are just too many distractions. Cleaning off my desk is also the first step of my night routine. It just bothers me to go to bed knowing my desk is all cluttered and it is easier to get started in the morning if you don’t have to clean off your desk first.

Little note on the side: Don’t work on your bed. It is way too tempting to doze off if you are already sitting on it. Besides my desk, I also like to sit in my armchair if I am reading or just typing on my laptop to change things up.

Put your phone aside

This one is pretty obvious, I know and I really need to follow that rule more myself. If you are having a hard time you might want to consider turning off your phone completely or putting it on the other side of the room.

Create a good working environment

Tips for Studying Online - 9 Tips to Make the Best out of Your Online Classes

Besides cleaning your desk and putting your phone aside there are some more things you might like to do before starting off a class to create a nice working environment. Like getting some water for example. I always forget to drink and sometimes that makes it hard to think. Having some water next to me reminds me of drinking enough and I don’t have to take a break to get some. Personally, I also get distracted and annoyed by little noises a lot when I am trying to concentrate. Since our walls are pretty thin and I can always hear my roommate listening to music or talking on the phone I like to wear my headphones. They aren’t fancy noise-canceling ones but just having them in my year helps with blocking out sounds.

For me, online classes are going well and I really enjoy having enough time to work on my notes. It is annoying whenever files take ages to download or videos cut off after ten seconds and load forever but besides that, I think I can make it through this semester just fine.

Since online classes are different for everyone how are you tackling them and how are they working for you?

Lots of Love

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