Many students dread returning to school after a relaxing summer break, but this year, they might not have to worry about that. With the current pandemic and social distancing orders in place, many students will not be physically allowed to go to school in the fall. To keep students safe, many districts are turning to online classes or a hybrid between in-person classes and virtual learning. Whatever school system is put in place next year, students will have to adapt to a new way of going to school and learning without interacting daily with other students and teachers. While this might not be ideal for many students, there are many ways that you can still maintain good grades and be successful, even if their classes are virtual.
- Make friends in your classes!
Even though online learning makes it more difficult for you to interact with others and get to know the other kids in your classes, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible! With social media, it is so much easier to communicate with other people and makes friends. A relationship with another classmate does not need to be awkward and can start with you just asking a question about an assignment. Having a friend in the class is so useful because you can compare assignments, ask questions, and even clarify directions! Although you won’t be seeing your classmates in person every day, you can still build connections and network in your classes.
- Have a specific study location
Although it is tempting to listen to an online lecture from your bed or take a test from your couch, you will be most productive if you have a designated location for online classes and schoolwork. This way, your brain will associate this area in your house with staying focused and concentrated on an assignment. Whether this is a desk or table in your room, make sure that your study location is quiet and does not have many distractions. Set up your area by having writing utensils and all of your books close by, so you don’t need to leave your desk.
- Treat it like an in-person class
Even though it might be odd listening to a lecture through your laptop or talking to classmates over Zoom, you should still give online classes your full effort. It might be difficult to adjust to virtual learning because you are able to remain at home, but you will most likely be getting graded the same way as before. Since you are not directly interacting with teachers every day, it will be more difficult to catch up on material if you choose to slack off. While it might be tempting, try not to be scrolling through TikTok during class or watch Netflix while your teacher is speaking. Give online classes your full attention and stay on top of assignments to keep your grades high!
- Communicate with teachers/professors
Despite the fact that you no longer see your teachers or professors in person every day, they are still available to assist you! Don’t be afraid to reach out to them or take advantage of their office hours for extra help. Online learning comes with more independent study, so you might have questions that they can help answer. By building strong relationships with your instructors, you are demonstrating to them that you care about your education, despite the circumstances. Teachers understand that this is a unique situation and hopefully will be more than happy to help you through these times.
Online classes might not be what we were expecting or hoping for but we can all make the most of the current situation. Even though you can’t see your friends from school every day, you can still make time to videochat them or spend time together while social distancing. I know this is not the senior year I was hoping for, but I still want to take advantage of the time I have left before college by celebrating small, happy moments. Whether it is Senior Dress Up Day on the first day of online classes or volunteering at freshman orientation, I am trying to stay positive and spend time with those I love!