Tips for Thriving in Online School
Updated: Aug 17
Elizabeth Claros 22’
Every student has a different experience with the life-altering routine of virtual learning; some find it overwhelming and demotivating, while others think it is easier and more enjoyable. It may be stressful for some, because they prefer to be taught in-person to understand the content better, to get away from distractions, and to socialize more. But, others find it easier to stay at home due to the comfortable environment, the independence of learning alone, and the flexible schedule.
For most of us, having distracting phones, getting out of bed a few minutes before class, and lacking a social life, has been a real struggle. Feeling challenged by online education is completely normal because it is new for everyone. Although online school has its ups and downs, there are ways to improve your experience so that you can make the best out of this situation.
Remember that all the effort you put into school now will still benefit your future; so, treat online school like a real course. Try to keep away from temptations by silencing your phone or working in a spacious area. Do your best to stay focused, get your work done, and try to have spare time to catch up on other assignments.
Try to wake up an hour to thirty minutes before your first period. This way, if and when our school re-opens, you’ll be ready to start classes by 7:45am. Doing this will help you stay organized so that you are not rushing to your periods at the last minute. Taking note of your homework in your school planner is also a great way to stay organized because it helps you not only remember your assignments, but also turn them in on time.
If you are behind or confused with your school work, go to office hours for extra support. It is a great opportunity to stay caught up with anything that you do not understand.
You may also want to video call friends and do your work with them. It is a great way to stay in touch. You can also clarify any doubts with them, if you do not make it to office hours.
Lastly, participate in the chat box in your Zoom classes. Or, even better, unmute yourself a few times every class period. Participation matters because it is a good indication that you are focused and working hard.
Randomized breakout rooms can be awkward and uncomfortable because being put in a group with people you do not normally socialize with, can make it difficult to have a conversation. A good way to handle this situation is to confront the awkwardness by starting with a “hi” or asking questions about the specific assignment. Come prepared with talking points and questions to ask your group so that you can build up a conversation. If your breakout room is still quiet, then suggest working separately and sharing at the end, if there is time. And, remember that if you are someone who talks a lot, make sure to give other people a chance to speak up as well.
No matter how difficult or easy online school is for you, there are still many ways to make it better. If you are struggling, you are not the only one; online education is new for a lot of people. Getting used to the experience will take time, but it is important to focus and try to make the most of it!