Online School in the New Normal

Four Habits That Have Been Helpful

As most of us already know, the end of our Spring semester was overflowing with confusion, fear and chaos. Like so many others, I’m still reeling from the disturbing nature of our economic, political, and social climate that has continued to accelerate since the initial outbreak of COVID-19. Not to mention the public health crisis that we are all, unfortunately, still staring at grimly without a feasible end in sight… at least within the immediate future. That being said, we will move through this, and hopefully with some gripping stories to tell the youth of the future. This week, I wanted to write a little bit about how we can stay autonomous as both students at Marywood, and as students of life during this incredibly tumultuous time. These are taken from my own personal experience, and are by no means a “one size fits all” approach to self-management, just simply some things that have helped me stay sane during academic and personal ventures throughout the last six months.

  1. Keep a Planner of Some Kind

Whether it’s your phone or a notebook, writing things down always helps me keep track. It’s simple, it’s easy and it takes only a few seconds to write down plans. Since most classes have moved to either some sort of hybrid model or completely online, I find myself having a harder and harder time remembering what’s due when and how much time I have to complete assignments. I think it’s fair to say that most of us enjoy the in-person experience, and that the portioning of information in a way that is digestible and manageable in regards to our academics has played a large role in our schooling thus far, so now more than ever I think keeping track of things in some form is crucial to our success as students.

2. You Can’t Make Time, You Can Only Take Time

Visualizing myself working on assignments in my head before I do them has been extremely helpful in regards to keeping some semblance of time management. Luckily in recent times, we haven’t had to sacrifice much when it comes to social life, at least in the name if academic success… but in most other aspects, it’s been a dramatically a different story. Keeping a mental note of not only what’s due, but how long it will take to manage your workload for the week. 

3. Don’t Rely on Motivation

For me, it has been so important to just do things. Try to remove all feeling around how stressed you are, how little time you feel you may have, how much difficulty we are collectively facing not only as a nation, but as humans altogether and just sit down and do it. Over my experience in school and life, I’ve realized relying on motivation is a surefire way to find myself motivated at the last second, only because I have to be. So in addition to trying to keep a schedule, try to actually stick to it.

4. If you’re struggling, listen to the Beatles.

They have a song for any circumstance.

Featured Image: Raphael, School of Athens, 1509-1511

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