Whether you’ve had experience with online classes or not, we all got thrown into it for who knows how long, thanks to coronavirus. To me, taking classes online sounded a lot easier than doing them in person… that is, until I took my first online class. And it was surprisingly difficult. Without that physical interaction, it’s easy to fall behind and lose motivation.

Everyone learns differently. For some, this might be a blessing in disguise. For others, this is so much harder and more stressful than we thought it would be. I made a list of everything I do to make my online classes easier to handle, so whether you’re just trying to finish the last few weeks of this semester or you have even more coming up during the summer, you can survive your online classes.

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Check your email everyday.

At least once. I check my email every morning when I first wake up, and whenever I think about it during the day. This is where most communication between students and teachers happens, so it’s super important to stay on top of it. If you have a question, email. Your professors are still there for you and wanting to help to the best of their ability.

Use a planner.

This is the only way I’m able to stay organized, and crucial to survive your online classes. I write everything in my planner, from assignment due dates and tests to appointments and my work schedule. Amazon has lots of inexpensive planners, like this one that’s under $10! It’s definitely worth it if you don’t already have one. The days of forgetting assignments and tests will be over.

Create a schedule.

Your online classes will be so much easier to accomplish if you have a daily routine. It might be helpful to complete your classwork at the time you would normally have that class, even if your professors aren’t holding live sessions. Or, based on whether you’re a morning person or a night person, figure out your most productive time of day to set aside for schoolwork.

Take breaks.

The worst feeling while doing schoolwork is when you start to get overwhelmed and can’t focus on anything. To prevent this from happening, add breaks into your daily schedule. This is the #1 way to stay productive! Too many times I’ve felt like I had to get something done without taking a break, and end up feeling sorry for myself all night. I promise you that it will get done more quickly if you give your brain time to rest. You’ll probably get a better grade on it, too.

Limit distractions.

One thing that makes it really hard to do work at home is distractions. It’s so easy to get distracted around your own house. If you set up a quiet space where you can work on your classes without wanting to do something else, you’ll have so much more success. I find that if I try to do my schoolwork in my bedroom, I’ll get distracted by the laundry that needs put away, or the coziness of my bed! Find a place where you can be the most productive.

Print things out.

If you have a printer at home, I highly recommend printing certain things out instead of looking at it from a computer. Sometimes looking at multiple things on one screen can get overwhelming, and having a hard copy of something can make it easier to learn. I love being able to write things down on paper because I’m able to comprehend it better.

Stay optimistic!

It can be so easy to fall into a rut right now! Remember that this won’t last forever, and we will get through it. Focus on the good parts of being home and taking online classes instead of the bad. Find what makes you most productive during the day and use that to your advantage. When you’re able to get things done more easily, that alone will make you feel so much better, and you will be able to survive your online classes!

Resources to make your life a little easier…

  • Chegg – I have the paid version of Chegg and it has been a life-saver. It has almost every problem imaginable (or at least something similar) and will give you all the steps to work it out.
  • Amazon – I have been using Amazon more than ever over the past few weeks. I’ve bought and rented textbooks and so many other school essentials here, and I don’t know what I’d do without it.
  • Socratic – This app is a game changer. You can snap a picture of a question on your screen or on paper, and it will search the web and find you an answer in seconds.
how to survive and ace your online classes