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Getting Ready for Another Online Semester

Getting Ready for another online semester
1000 522 Tory Stoddart

Many of us are entering our fifth (or seventh if you take summer courses) semester of online or hybrid learning. You might be feeling burnt out and sick of online learning at this point, but you can reduce stress and maximize your learning this semester by following a few simple guidelines.

Read. The. Syllabus

Reading the syllabus is the golden rule for in-person learning, but it’s even more essential when you’re learning online. Readings get missed and due dates slip away if you don’t have a thorough understanding of the syllabus. Mark any important due dates in your calendar and add reminders. Ask the professor if anything seems unclear.

Build a Schedule

Now that you know when your due dates are, it’s time to make a plan to meet them. The best way to stay on top of your coursework is by following a schedule. Make plans to study for each class every week (generally 3-4 hours a week outside of lectures), but don’t stop there. You don’t have to plan down to the minute, but it’s great to have a rough framework of how you want to split up your time every day. For a detailed guide on building your schedule, check out our blog!

Learn How to Manage Your Time

There are countless time-management techniques out there – the key is to find the right one for you. Try out a few and see what sticks. We recommend the Pomodoro Technique, a customizable method that focuses on breaking apart your working time into manageable sections with lots of breaks. Read about the Pomodoro Technique here.

Don’t Skip Taking Notes

It can be tempting to skip taking notes when lectures are recorded and course materials are readily available online. DON’T DO IT! Taking notes, especially in your own words, helps you build connections to the material and retain information. Taking notes by hand is even better! We recommend handwriting your notes then typing them up later. This allows you to get the most out of the note-taking process while making sure each piece of information is easily accessible for studying and open-book exams.

Take Care of Yourself

By far the most important thing on this list is taking care of yourself. You can have all the best study habits in the world but if you aren’t sleeping or eating well, then your brain is fighting an uphill battle. Take care of your physical and mental health by sleeping and eating enough, drinking lots of water, taking study breaks, and getting outside – even if it’s just a quick walk around the block. Your grades will thank you for the sunlight and exercise.

Online learning can seem like a massive hurdle, but running hurdles is something that lots of people do with practice! Keep these tips in mind as you start the new semester and make them your own. You never know what works for you until you try.


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