The pandemic is top of mind for everyone these days, and many students I work with have shared tips for in class during COVID-19.
Whether you’re wondering how to maintain your grades or stay in good health, who better to ask than a student? Seriously, the tips were so good that they inspired me to make a list. Below are some of the best tips our scholarship recipients shared for managing school work during COVID-19. The advice is wide-ranging. However, as you can see, the common themes revolve around finding motivation and optimism.
• Keep your connections. I used to grab coffee with friends all the time. Now, I have moved that tradition online. Talking with friends and family helps me navigate big decisions and challenges. They also make me laugh.
• With all the sitting, it’s worth investing in a good desk and chair. You can also make some ergonomic adjustments to your current desk. The ideal ergonomic position for a body is to have your ankles, knees, hips and elbows at 90 degrees with your computer monitor at eye level.
• I thought I was always plugged in before, but virtual learning has taken it to an unhealthy level. I found that turning my phone off during lectures has kept me from multitasking and wasting time.
• Exercise is crucial for my mental and physical health, but it’s in shorter supply due to COVID-19. Find a way to get active. I have started a routine of in-home yoga sessions on YouTube and also bought some resistance bands. While smaller, these workouts are doing the trick.
• Double-down on defining your goals and aspirations. For me, it’s important to visualize my destination. Focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel helps me stay motivated and keep a positive mindset along the way.
• Prioritize mental health. This was a rough year, especially for teens. We were hit with unimaginable challenges like adapting to a completely virtual learning environment. For me, and many of my classmates, this became mentally and emotionally draining.
• Be kind to yourself. Times are tough right now, so don’t overwhelm yourself with extra work or focus on the negative. We all fall short sometimes.
• Make sure to schedule in ten-minute breaks to stand up and move for every hour of online lecture. Sometimes I’ll turn my video off to stand or walk around during lectures. This helps avoid back pain and also gets my heart rate up, both of which help me focus.
• Try every resource that sounds remotely helpful. During COVID-19, I have seen so many supportive and useful tips and resources. Seek them out, because I’ve found that they are building blocks for creating stability amidst all the change.
• Fall in love with your planner. Working online and from remote locations can lead to academic chaos as it is harder to maintain a set schedule. A physical planner helps me get away from the screen and visualize my routine in a different space.
• Start small. Set tiny goals that you can accomplish throughout the day or week.
• Do not make excuses or distractions. Finish your assignments early so you can have the free time later.
Tips for Students During COVID-19 Are Perennial
In many ways, the tips and tricks our students are using during COVID-19 are also good practices for leading a healthy and happy life at any time. It shows that, even though the pandemic has created stress and uncertainty, we can all turn this adversity into an opportunity to learn, grow and improve as humans and students.
And, since everyone’s experience is different, we can all learn from and contribute to the knowledge base. If you have any other tips for students, please let me know. I’ll continue adding to this list as we hear more, and hopefully build a collective support system. This is a concept inspired by one of our outstanding scholarship recipients who asked that we consider, “how much more are we to others than to ourselves?”
“The people who love and support us do so in their ways. As we work and fellowship with others, trust in the goodness and kindness that is sure to follow you around and ask yourself this question, believing in your heart the fulfillment of all things.”
Speaking of support, if you are struggling to afford tuition, pay for necessities or stay healthy, I recently compiled a list of resources that are helping students on all these fronts. As one of the tips above suggests, you might end up finding a building block that allows you to find stability and fulfill your academic goals.