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UC students share strategies to approach remote learning

From waking early to keeping a routine, tips help students keep studies on track

By Adam Cline

More than two months into campus closure due to COVID-19, students at the University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) are finding new ways to stay focused on learning, and find their own normalcy in the “new normal.”

As summer classes get underway, and with fall semester approaching, they are rapidly adapting to remote learning, and coping, using strategies they share here.

Create a workstation, dress for 'school'

Jack Fogle, a second-year A&S student studying neuroscience, biology, and psychology, says he has created a separate work station for himself that he doesn’t use for anything else. He also says, even though it feels silly, sometimes he’ll put on a new outfit to complete his work. This separate work station and getting dressed in the morning helps him distinguish “quarantine time-wasting nonsense from diligent school/work time.”

Wake up early, organize tasks daily or weekly

Some students report having experienced an increased workload since beginning remote learning. Second-year student Alexis Lucius says is one of them. She finds she is most productive in the morning hours, “so I try and wake up earlier to get started on my work for the day,” she says. To keep up with her coursework and manage her time, Lucius says, she organizes her assignments daily or weekly in order to help her feel less stressed out.

Ashley Martz, a first-year biology major, uses a similar method. “I wake up every day and do my school work before I do anything else so I do not procrastinate the whole day,” says Martz.

Make a reward system, plan for breaks

Many A&S Bearcats said the hardest part of remote learning was keeping motivated. Pritika Arinana, a fourth-year psychology major, says she likes to set up a reward system for herself. Similar to Lucius, Arinana also says she creates “a plan each day about what I need to finish.” If she completes her planned assignments for the day, she rewards herself by “spending some quality time with family or baking.”

Lucius also rewards herself but in a different way. After working for a while, she will take around a 30-minute break from homework, she says. When she completes her daily tasks, she will use the night to “unwind and relax.”

Stay in touch with your friends

Andrea Vale, a third-year environmental studies and biology student, says, “Staying in touch with friends is really important to me during such a stressful time.” Vale says she uses video chatting platforms to catch up and play games with her friends and creates group chats to keep connected to her classmates and vent about school and life. 

Featured image at top: Student engaged with classwork on laptop. Photo/Pixabay