By Stephanie Quick
I know when you were graduating high school and applying for colleges, you did not think that you would be joining most of your classes virtually and having that freshmen experience you always heard about taken away from you. On top of the anxiety of starting a new chapter of your life, the addition changes from a global pandemic leaves everyone even more stressed and worried.
Even with these stressors and adjustments to your everyday life, be proud of yourself for continuing your education and overcoming these challenges. In the long run, this decision will benefit your future and help you grow as an individual.
Some of the biggest challenges I know many freshmen are facing involves finding motivation to continue their studies and being productive. It’s also hard to feel connected with your classmates and professors when you interact with them virtually.
Because of these dilemmas, I decided to put together a list of some helpful tips for those freshmen who need more help being motivation and feeling a part of their school community.
Establish a Schedule
Trust me, I know how fun those 3:00 AM nights are where you just play video games or binge Netflix because why not? Then the next day you sleep in until one in the afternoon and you don’t begin any of your assignments until after dinner. But, if we are honest with ourselves we know it contributes to being unproductive and not fully invested into studying for our courses.
By establishing a daily routine that you typically did in previous years of school or work, this will enhance your productivity and give you more motivation to excel in your studies. Whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee and joining your Zoom session or getting up early to shower and get out of your PJs, try to find ways to replicate your normal class day schedule. This will also affect your mental health positively too!
Create a Workspace
Being in your dorm room or bedroom at home is full of distractions and other things that seem much more fun than sitting at your desk for a few hours studying. Before COVID, it was easy to walk over to the library and have a study session with friends, but sadly that is not the case right now. A helpful way to eliminate these distractions is to create a workspace for yourself.
With your home doubling as your classroom, separating your “fun” space from your workspace can help maintain your productivity and structure your schedule. Eliminating distractions and clutter, or simply cleaning your room can do wonders too!
Maybe your bed in your dorm room is where you typically watch videos on your laptop or relax on your phone. Try to create a habit of every time you need to work on assignments or join class, move to your desk to make that your workspace. Automatically you will start to be in a productive mindset once you go to that desk or whatever workspace you choose.
If you are at home, moving to a different room like the kitchen or another quiet room can also help eliminate any struggle with being motivated. If there’s some days that you honestly can’t focus, take a break! Come back to the assignment in an hour and see how you feel then. Lastly, Lewis University does allow you to book study rooms through the LewisU app. Utilizing this resource will allow you to get out of your normal environment and clear your head.
Reach out to your professors or mentors
Even with the current pandemic, don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors for help! If you’re having trouble understanding the topic they’re covering or just need more guidance, shoot them an email and see if they can meet with you using Google, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. Many professors at Lewis University and other universities are holding virtual office hours to help their students. Never be afraid to ask. They want to help you and see you succeed!