College Planning

How to Navigate Virtual Learning This Fall

Whether you’re learning remotely or participating in a hybrid model this fall, it can be difficult to establish a routine with your schoolwork. Here are some tips for navigating remote learning to help you stay on track and motivated this school year.

1. Establish a routine and schedule

It can be very easy to hit the snooze button or roll out of bed right before your first class begins. However, keeping a regular routine and schedule can help ensure you get adequate sleep and make time for your homework, remote learning, exercise, and hobbies. Creating a weekly schedule that includes class time, assignments that are due, and time for hobbies, exercise, or connecting with friends and classmates is a great first start. Google “free calendar 2020 templates” for printable calendars that you can use every month to stay on track.

Hear from the following current college students who have navigated virtual learning to find out what worked for them, like Julian, a current student at Boston University, then continue reading for more tips:

Yu (University of California—Santa Barbara), keeps it real about procrastination and how she dealt with it.

Amanda (University of Texas—Austin), talks about transitioning to classes on Zoom and how creating a schedule helped her stay focused.

2. Create a space or area for your schoolwork

Whether you’re working in your room, at your kitchen table, or in a home office, it’s important to take advantage of your workspace and make it comfortable and conducive for learning. If the area where you work can be loud or has distractions, use headphones and listen to music or a podcast that will not distract you.

3. Take breaks

While it’s important to concentrate on your work and virtual classes, taking breaks is vital to recharging your brain and body. It’s also a good idea to stand up and stretch once or twice an hour during the day, to keep yourself moving and active. Check out these 5 Short Study Break Ideas by Caroline Ernst on the Her Campus site for fun ideas that can add variety to your study time. 

4. Eat healthy and exercise

Taking a walk during your lunch break, helping your family clean around the house or garden, or doing a virtual workout class are some ways to continue to stay healthy during this time. Read Easy, Affordable and Healthy Eating Tips During COVID-19 on the UNICEF site or Making Health and Nutrition a Priority During the Coronavirus Pandemic on the site for more ideas on how to stay healthy during covid-19.

5. Connect with classmates and teachers virtually

It can feel lonely and isolating being away from friends and classmates while at home, so it’s more important than ever to stay in touch. Attend your teacher’s office hours, start a book club with your friends, or do an outdoor workout class to stay in contact and connect with others.

6. Ask for help and support

Learning remotely can be challenging, so it’s important to make your mental health a priority during this time. Here are some resources to utilize:

The CDC: Coping During Stress
Finding Local Mental Health Resources During COVID-19
Shareable Resources on Coping with COVID-19

Check in with your friends and loved ones to see how they’re doing, or seek out a trusted friend or adult if you are going through a difficult time.

7. Make time for yourself

With so many hours spent at home, it can be easy to fall into a cycle of monotony and endless screen time. This is a great period to discover new hobbies or interests, and make time for what you like to do. If you want to discover volunteer opportunities you can participate in now, read our Help Others from Home: Volunteer Opportunities While Social Distancing blog post.

Whether you are learning fully remotely, in person, or a combination of both, keep your routine and stay focused on school, while still making time for your friends, health, and interests and hobbies. We hope you find this blog post useful and remember to stay safe and healthy.