Most of us have been learning remotely for a few weeks now, and there are times where it gets tough, or maybe more accurately, it feels like none of the days are easy. When you’re feeling like there is no end to the school day, to doing assessments online and not being able to see your friends, it’s easy to see why you might feel overwhelmed. Luckily, we have some suggestions to help make your online schooling easier and more enjoyable. Here’s what the Student Editorial Team had to say:
Jade says… Find a source of motivation
Finding and maintaining your motivation is difficult at the best of times, let alone now. Everyone gets motivated in different ways, but here are a few ideas to help you find what works for you. One of our favourites is setting goals. Make sure your goals are focused around something you are passionate about or invested in. There’s no point in setting your goal as to go to university if that’s not what you want to do. Another great way to not only find your motivation but to improve your mood and avoid procrastination is to exercise. Find a form of exercise you love whether that be running, kicking a footy, walking the dog or jumping on the trampoline. Getting active is a great way to relieve stress and stay focused and motivated.
Aaran says… Make sure to take plenty of breaks
It’s easy to get tired and agitated whilst studying, but by taking frequent breaks, we can make sure we aren’t overworking ourselves and are able to concentrate so we can work efficiently and productively. Make sure during these breaks you are moving, even if it’s just walking around the house (I like to use it as an opportunity to grab a snack). How often breaks are needed will differ from person to person, but it’s important to make sure that you aren’t sitting for too long. It is recommended that you take a 5 – 10-minute break every hour, and while this may not be possible if your school has lessons that are back to back try to step away even if it is for a minute or two. Take the opportunity to stretch, drink some water, get a snack or take a deep breath.
Jade says… Set up a study space
One of the biggest issues with studying at home are the distractions. If you are studying on your bed, the chance of finding yourself taking a nap, watching Netflix or funny goat videos on YouTube is pretty high. Having a dedicated study space free of distractions, that you use only for study, allows you to rewire your brain to know that when you go to your study space you are there for one thing only. This is super helpful as it allows you to get ‘in the zone’ and maximise you productivity meaning you don’t have to study as much as you might if you are distracted!
Connor says… Prioritise your work
In the new era of online learning, we’ve found ourselves with more freedom about how we approach our work. Let’s say we’re in Maths. Do we complete the Maths assignment that due in 3 weeks or do we complete the Biology work that’s due tomorrow? We prioritise of course!
Prioritising your work is extremely beneficial not only so we can finish the work that needs to be completed first, but we can also keep our stress levels under control.
Aaran says… Keep your phone (and other distractions) away from your workspace
Unless it is essential to use your phone for work, make sure it’s completely away from you whilst you’re working. We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been trying to do work… and the next minute we realise we’ve been scrolling Tik Tok for the past half an hour. By focusing on the task at hand, your work will be of greater quality and take up less of your time (so you can spend more time later on TikTok). By fully focusing on your work, you are able to relax fully later on, rather than working half-heartedly and later on having that task sitting in the back of your mind, not allowing you to fully wind down because you didn’t finish the task you needed to.
Issy says… Take care of your mental health
Your mental health is super important and taking care of you should be your number #1 priority. Realising that it is okay to reach out and then seeking help is brave. By acknowledging that some things will be easier to deal with if you have more support, you are able to be truly honest with yourself. If you ever feel like you shouldn’t reach out because you perceive your struggles as lesser to others please remember that your pain points (however big or small they might feel) are just as valid and deserving of support as anyone else’s. Treat yourself with kindness, like how you would treat a good friend. If your closest friend was struggling, you would validate them and that how you should treat yourself. Contact your schools’ wellbeing team, or alternatively a teacher you are comfortable with to explore the support options available to you. Alternatively, you can make use of the many free online support services available such as eHeadspace, Kids Help Line, or Beyond Blue.
Jade says… Find a way to finalise the end of the school day
Finalising the end of the day helps you reset and get you into “home mode’. You can do this in so many ways, so here are our favourite ways to wind down and differentiate school and home time. You can take a shower, change your clothes, and pack up all of your school stuff. Take a moment to grab a bite to eat, get active and disconnect from technology. Make sure you have a routine at the end of the school day that tells your brain and your body to relax, as you make the transition to ‘home time’. For students that want to continue studying straight on from the end of the school day, make sure you are mindful of your body. You need to have a moment to relax and disconnect so you don’t burn out; while school may seem like the be-all and end-all, particularly for VCE students, you need to make sure your mental health should be your priority. Take a moment to step away, relax and reflect before jumping into your homework.
Remember, we are all in this together and there is always someone willing to listen. Whether that may be a family member, friend, pet, counsellor or one of the resources we listed above. Make sure you take care of yourself and the people around you, and hopefully you were able to take something away from these tips to help improve your remote learning experience. If you have any tips feel free to share them in our forum!