How to Manage Online Classes as a College Student
This post is all about online class tips.
So, here’s what I know about you: You’ve been doing online school for a little while now but still don’t feel like you’ve mastered it. I hope it’s comforting to know that MANY students can relate. But that’s why we really need to talk online class tips.
Here’s the deal:
If you’re not a naturally super self-driven person (and that’s okay! Most people are not, especially without social contact as an incentive), then online learning might be pretty tiring for you.
No shame in that. BUT… it probably means that it’s about time you find some online class tips that actually work to keep you motivated and successful.
So, let’s get to it.
This post is all about online class tips.
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ONLINE CLASS TIPS:
1. Don’t assume you’ll get less work
One of the biggest mistakes online students make is assuming that they’ll have way more time or have a super flexible schedule because school is online.
This is SO NOT TRUE!
Professors tend to give MORE readings and more time-consuming assignments to compensate for lost class time and even commute time to school. So, don’t assume you’ll have more free time! Instead, treat your classes like a regular semester, because the workload will likely be just as heavy, if not more.
RELATED POST – Time Management for College Students: 21 Success Tips
2. Use a calendar
Let’s set something straight with this one:
It’s often counterproductive to schedule out EVERY minute of your day on a calendar. You need to leave yourself wiggle room so that you don’t feel super overwhelmed by having to stick to a minute-by-minute schedule.
So, as a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to plan out the bigger tasks. Put things like this in your calendar:
- Part-time job
- Allotted time for study sessions or major assignments
- Social outings
- Grocery shopping
Don’t forget to leave spaces open for things like eating meals, cooking, taking time to yourself, and small things like that.
3. Develop and keep a consistent sleeping routine
I know what you’re thinking.
This tip is so much easier said than done. I get it. But the truth is, it’s NOT hard to create and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
This is seriously one of the most essential successful online learning strategies you can implement. And yes, getting good sleep IS a learning strategy because it will seriously make you so much more productive, give you a greater sense of control, and help you stay on your game.
Last year, you could NOT have convinced me that I would ever become a morning person.
This year, with online school, I have created a sleeping routine that consistently gets me to wake up early, still get enough sleep, and still allows me a solid sleep-in every Sunday.
The best part?
YOU CAN DO IT TOO! You can make a sleep schedule that truly works for you, even in the midst of online classes.
RELATED POST – Morning Routine for School: 8 Habits College Students Need
4. Take lecture notes
I know it’s easy to throw on a lecture while you actually work on other assignments, but this is one of the worst things I see people doing when it comes to online classes!
What makes a successful online student is staying on top of course content and being present in lectures. You won’t succeed if you’re not paying attention to lectures.
And even if you *think* you’re doing a great job of listening while multitasking, you’re not. Because during lectures, you really should be taking notes.
Manage your time well. Put your lectures in your calendar so that you can work around them and stay on top of assignments AND lessons. Take notes during lectures so that studying for midterms and finals is so much easier. This is one of the most crucial ways on how to succeed at online learning!
[RELATED POST – Note Taking in College Tricks That Make Studying Less Stressful]
5. Check, double-check and triple-check deadlines
There is one crucial thing I’ve noticed about online classes…
Profs are trying to figure it out as much as students are.
This can result in due dates changing throughout the semester. Or, the due dates just being a little unclear in the syllabus.
So, it’s always best to check what due dates are coming up at least once a week. That way, there are never any unpleasant surprises and you’re always prepared.
6. Give time to yourself
When it comes to online classes, it’s easy to feel like you don’t really need to worry about taking time to yourself since you’re home all the time anyways.
But that is just not true!
One of the best online class tips you could possibly follow is to intentionally take time for yourself. Try to give yourself the afternoon off once a week. And do something small every day that will put you in better spirits or set you up for success.
For example, get into the habit of reading the Bible in the morning or taking Sunday as a rest day. These are practices that I’ve learned to maintain even amidst the busyness of a full-time college semester and they have way increased my success in college.
Because I’m giving myself sufficient time to tend to my emotional and spiritual life, which means I’m better prepared to get work done.
7. Create some killer playlists
I know some people hate listening to music while studying, and if that’s you, then go ahead and skip to the next tip.
BUT others can’t go without it. If you fall into the latter category, then create some killer study playlists to motivate you throughout the semester!
8. Listen to a motivating podcast in the morning
I know some people also aren’t podcast fans, but I personally find them so motivating!
Whether it’s a podcast that inspires you, makes you laugh, or makes you ponder the deeper things in life, podcasts are a great way to kick off your day and get your mind working. And the great thing about podcasts is that there are so many out there these days, there’s pretty much something for everyone.
How does this relate to online class tips?
Finding a good podcast might just be the one element of your daily routine that you’ve been missing that will seriously motivate you during online school!
9. Keep a healthy diet
Honestly, online school can be draining.
But it doesn’t have to be.
As much as possible, try to keep a healthy diet. This will positively impact your energy levels and keep you from feeling like a total couch potato (since you don’t really have a choice but to sit at home all day).
10, Do home workouts
If you prefer the gym and there are actually gyms open where you are, then that’s awesome!
But you might not like the gym, or you might live in a city that still has tight lockdown restrictions. Even if this is the case, moving your body is seriously so important when it comes to doing online classes.
If you really want to know how to make online classes better, exercise at least a couple times a week. Even if it’s something as simple as following a 20 minute stretching routine, moving your body will seriously improve your energy levels in the long run AND help you feel like you’re being productive in more areas than just school (which is super motivating).
11. Don’t study from bed
I know, it’s hard never to study from bed when you have to do school from home.
But many people, myself included, can attest to the fact that it’s so helpful to separate your work/study time from your resting time.
The problem with this?
Sometimes a change of scenery can be really nice. But if you need a change of scenery, try relocating to your couch, kitchen table, or even the floor. Try really hard not to get into bed!
[RELATED POST – Desk Organization Ideas for Students That Will Boost Productivity]
12. Check your student email daily
Checking your student email is especially important when it comes to knowing how to be a successful online student because email is one of the primary ways your professor will communicate with you.
Set a time every day when you’ll check your email. That way, you’ll always be in the loop and up-to-date on deadline changes, events, questions, and other communication.