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 Jan 01, 2021
Virtual Learning: Dos and Don’ts

Many students struggle to learn in the same setting where they watch TV, eat dinner, and sleep. Others put forth that they can’t learn well at home because there are too many distractions in their way. Now more than ever before, it’s imperative that students create an at-home environment that facilitates their learning abilities, despite the lack of the in-person ambiance to which we’re all so accustomed. What can students do so that they can truly focus on their work — all from the comfort of their homes? Here are a few dos and don’ts that have helped me get through virtual learning. Hopefully, they’ll help you during these upcoming weeks too!

The Dos

1) DO work in a designated study space. — You may find yourself doing one class in the dining room, another class in your bedroom, and yet another class on the living room floor. While a change of scenery is certainly nice, working in one organized work space (rather than all over the place!) can do wonders for your productivity and concentration. If possible, choose a space that is devoid of distractions or loud noises and brimming with the tools to get your creative juices flowing. 

2) DO take breaks between classes to stretch or walk. — During the virtual school day, it can be far too easy to get stuck sitting in a chair for hours at a stretch. If you’re like me, when you finally get up, you likely feel some major foot cramps. To avoid this gainless pain, make sure to move around between classes. Walk to another room, try some yoga, or do a few simple stretches — anything to get your blood flowing! 

3) DO maintain a school schedule. — Rather than waking up five minutes before class, get up early. Eat a healthy breakfast, set up your devices and books in your workspace, and be ready for class before it starts. Eat lunch and complete your homework assignments at designated times. And most importantly, follow the same routine every day! It won’t benefit you to watch TV during the school day or eat lunch at vastly different times each day. The more consistent your schedule, the better.

The Don’ts

1) DON’T have your phone out during class. — It can be tempting to pull out your phone for a quick peek during class, but oftentimes a quick peek turns into five minutes, which turns into ten. (You get the picture.) Before you know it, an entire class has passed by, and you were texting all along! Steer clear of this habit by keeping your phone elsewhere during class if you need to. That way, you can place all of your attention on your teacher and avoid missing any potentially essential information. 

2) DON’T get in a “schoolwork rut.” — With school temporarily being at home, it may seem as if your school life and your home life are blending together into a never-ending humdrum. You may find yourself working constantly and never catching a break (or vise versa). So, it’s important that you give yourself some “you time” every now and then. Even though you may still be stuck at home, you should make time to do something you like, whether it be cooking, reading, or even watching your favorite show.

3) DON’T feel like you’re isolated from others. — Especially during a time like the present, you must find ways to stay in touch with those whom you care for. Try FaceTiming your friends and family regularly to not only see their faces, but also to connect with them even from a distance. Likewise, even though you’re not in class with your teachers, don’t hesitate to ask them for a one-on-one tutoring session if you need it. Even from afar, they are still there to support, help, and talk to you!

Virtual learning has posed a plethora of challenges, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be conquered. While taking classes from your own home may seem far from mundane, there are ways to make doing so as painless and productive as possible. If you maintain a strict school schedule while also remembering to take breaks, make time for yourself, and communicate with others, you can avoid the all-too-familiar daily grind and still be able to unwind. After all, virtual learning isn’t just about the schoolwork. It’s also about you!

Trisha Bhujle is a former Brilliant Prep student with the goal of answering your questions about high school, standardized tests, and everything in between. Having received a 36 on her ACT and a 1560 on her SAT, she now actively works to inform students and parents alike of how to prepare for not only these tests, but also other high school hurdles. In her spare time, she likes to experiment in her kitchen, conquer DIY projects, and most of all, write!

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