Five Ways to Improve Your New School-at-Home Life

Maggie JonesNews

The change from being on campus to having fully online coursework hit a lot of us college students pretty hard. Don’t worry though, you are not alone. There are so many ways we can make this situation better and not let our grades take a hit. I don’t know about you but I’m really missing my friends and professors at the University of Mobile right about now. Here are a few things I would recommend doing to help you stay on top of your work, keep your grades up and not lose touch with your campus community.

1. Get into a routine  |  I know this is hard to do when you are at home and don’t have to wake up in time to drive to or walk across campus for that 8 a.m. class, but for some, a routine will be crucial. If you’re like me, being home usually means sleeping late and not thinking about school. Getting yourself into a routine is the best thing to combat this mindset. For me, I decided to follow a similar schedule to the one I was already doing at school to keep me on track. Whether that is what you decide to do, or if you choose to create a whole new schedule for this new season, just do what works best for you.


2. Add classwork to your calendar or to-do list  |  Whether this is something you do already or not, I have found this to be very helpful while at home. Add the due dates for your exams, assignments and papers to your calendar or create some form of master to-do list so you don’t forget about anything that is coming up. Also, block out times to get your work done so you don’t fall behind or worse, forget an assignment altogether. This goes into getting into a routine. Choosing to sit down from 10 a.m. until noon to work on a specific class or assignment will help you beat that procrastination instinct.


3. Find a change of scenery  |  While this may sound difficult to do when we are under quarantine and you cannot go to a coffee shop, there are ways to change up your scenery at home. You can change it up by going to a different room in your house – moving from your bedroom to the den or kitchen, for example – or you can go outside and sit on a picnic blanket. Move spaces so you can think better and find that motivation to get your work done.


4. Phone a friend  |  Some people work just fine on their own, others need a group, and still others need a happy medium of those two. If you study better with a friend or process information better by talking things through with someone, reach out to one of your friends or classmates. This not only will help you learn better, but it also helps us all feel like we aren’t so far apart. I know I like to talk things through with friends, so I have started FaceTiming people while I study to make it more fun and more beneficial. Being a student at the University of Mobile, I have pretty small classes so I know most of my classmates. I know this isn’t true for everyone, but we are all in the same boat here with this entirely online coursework. So, try reaching out to someone even if you don’t know them that well. Just ask them if they would mind talking through some material with you. Chances are, they will find that very helpful too.


5. Reach out to your professors  |  Listen, our professors know how difficult this change has been for us. It has been difficult for them, too. Can you even image trying to turn an entire class into an online course within a week? That could not be an easy task. So, if you are struggling, just reach out and ask for help. I know our UM professors care about us so much and don’t want this situation to impede our learning. They also miss having us in class and would likely love to hear from you anyway.

Whatever you need to do to make the rest of this semester successful, make it happen. We have so much technology available to us these days that we should not let quarantine be an excuse for falling behind. We can do this together!