As everyone keeps saying, this school year is going to be different than any other that we have previously experienced. With COVID-19 on everyone’s minds, all the precautions have been put in place, making our classes online (for the most part). But it won’t be all bad! I’m here to give you a few tips and tricks on ways to stay productive at home with your roommates or in residence.
Firstly, when you’re at home all day it’s important to keep yourself happy!
I would argue that this tip is probably the most important because if you cannot find time to relax and unwind in your own home, then it will be impossible to keep yourself completely motivated. So, always make sure you take time for yourself! Take a bath or a hot shower; watch some of your favorite shows; cook (or order in) your favorite meal; talk with your roommates, floormates, or family; do something that makes you happy and helps you to reset before having to go back to work. Also, what goes hand in hand with motivation is keeping up your mental health! Talk to your friends and family and don’t forget about psych services. Mental health is so important so make sure you take time for yourself every day, check in on yourself and your emotions and ask for help!
Talk with your roommates/family early on so you can establish a good schedule to accommodate everyone’s needs.
Setting up a schedule for yourself is very important to keep a sense of normalcy in your life even when you’re stuck in the same place all day. Getting outside every day should be included in your schedule so you can get a little break from being in the same place for too long. Try to study outside while the weather is permitting; it’ll be a nice change from your usual indoor study spots. If you have roommates, it is important to talk with them to understand their schedules so you can plan accordingly and can accommodate each other’s priorities. For example, if someone has a live lecture, then don’t plan on using the blender while they are in the next room trying to listen.
Don’t bring work into your room.
This one is optional. For some, doing work out of their room is impossible (if you
live in residence or have no community space that you can use for school work). If you can avoid it, leave your work outside of your room! If you can, find a community space to work at, like your living room, dining table, or outside picnic benches (when the weather is accommodating). Your room should be a place where you can relax and if you bring your work into your sanctuary, you’ll bring in all the bad vibes and tension. If this isn’t for you, then try to set up a workstation in a portion of your room and use it only for study time.
Designate areas for work and relaxation
As I mentioned, keeping these two spaces separate is very important. If you do school work in your bed then you won’t be able to relax in it later because school will be on your mind. Similarly, if you’re on your phone scrolling through TikTok at your workstation when you’re trying to work, all you’ll want to do is go on your phone. It’s not always easy to keep both spheres separated but do your best to if you can and I promise it will help in the long run.
Talk to your profs!
This one is rather self-explanatory. Talk to your profs (and academic advisor) if you need to! They are here to help if you need it.
This is going to be a new experience for all of us so make sure you are easy on yourself and others. We are all learning and growing from this situation so remember to check in on yourself, your friends, and your family. Remember to listen, communicate, be understanding and most of all be patient. You got this!