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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

How to succeed in your online classes


This pandemic had disrupted our lives in more ways than one, but one of the most disappointing announcements was Loyola deciding to conduct the fall semester online this year. While this decision was one made out of concern for the safety of Loyola students, many may find it difficult to be successful in their courses without being on campus. Here are some tips on how to stay motivated and do well in your online courses.

1. Make a vision board

A vision board is a collage of pictures that depict your aspirations and goals, whether they be short-term or long-term. Sometimes, the work in college can get overwhelming and you may find yourself asking, “is all of this even worth it?” Creating a vision board will help you think about why you decided to attend college in the first place. You can include career aspirations, inspirational quotes, and more. After creating the vision board, place it somewhere on your wall so you can look at it frequently. This will allow you to be constantly reminded of your goals and be reassured that your hard work will pay off in the long-run.

2. Create a nice workspace

According to the University of Florida’s Distance Learning department, “your environment has a huge impact on how productive you are.” Try to create this space in the room where you are least likely to be distracted. Set up a desk or a table where you can place your books and computer. Also, make sure you have enough light and feel comfortable enough to sit there for longer periods of time. To liven up your space, the University of Florida’s Distance Learning department recommends placing a plant or a photo in that area as well. Making your work environment look and feel desirable will help keep you motivated and comfortable while you are in class or doing assignments.

3. Avoid procrastination!

Whether we are at home or online, procrastination tends to occur when we lose motivation. While we all have days where we may not feel like attending classes or completing assignments, it is important to avoid putting off tasks. Try using a planner or making a to-do list every day to keep yourself on track. Keep track of important dates by using a physical or electronic calendar. These strategies can be very helpful when trying to avoid procrastination and get things done in a timely manner.

4. Create an Online Study Group

Building connections and meeting new people can be challenging online. However, it is essential during these difficult times to have support from peers who are experiencing the same things you are. Reach out to a few or all the students in one of your classes and discuss making a group chat or online study group. You can suggest meeting once a week or before assessments to review together and share ideas with each other. By doing this, you can make new friends while improving your performance in the course.

5. Take care of yourself

In the midst of the chaos that this semester has brought, it can be very easy to forget the importance of self-care. Setting time in your schedule to take care of yourself is essential for your physical and mental health. Psychology Today recommends “journaling, writing poetry, painting, or drawing” as suggestions for a “creative outlet to convey your thoughts.”  Making time for self-reflection will give you an opportunity to figure out what works for you and what you may need to change in your routine to ensure your happiness. There are also other ways to practice self-care, including getting enough sleep and exercising. 

Overall, this semester has been and may continue to be difficult for many students. It is important to remember that success stems not only from attending classes and doing assignments on time, but also taking time to assess how you are feeling during this stressful time. Remember to maintain a healthy balance between school and your personal life. We will get through this!

Featured Image courtesy of Tamz Craig via Flickr Creative Commons

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How to succeed in your online classes