Senior psychology major Annisa Amatul Muqtadir was homeschooled for 12 years. “So I’ve tried just about every trick imaginable to have the best academic experience,” she says. Muqtadir recommends the following self-tested and proven strategies for taking classes online

1. Create a schedule.

One key to academic success is time management. Get up, eat breakfast, grab a coffee—idk, whatever you do in the morning—and plan your day around your class schedule. Your classes may be online but you still need to build in time to study.

2. Sit up!

Sit up, sit up, sit up. I can’t stress enough that your body position matters when you are in a virtual class. If you lie down in bed, you’re placing yourself in a mindset of nap time, or your attention wanders—trust me, I’ve done this and suffered the unfortunate consequences. Plus, sitting up helps maximize your retention of the information that’s delivered in class. Try sitting up and sitting at a desk or table. 

3. Stick to a good sleep schedule.

Because you are away from campus and all the usual cues that academics are your priority, it may seem like time to indulge in Netflix, Hulu, and Tik Toks till 2 a.m., but it’s not. And just as your body position matters to your focus, so does the right amount of sleep. Do your best to maintain a structured sleep schedule that provides the amount of zzz’s you need.

4. Get help with technology.

Zoom may crash, and that’s okay. Tell your professors if you’re having issues with Zoom, and ask for help from your professor or a classmate, or email IT. We’re all here to help each other and make sure our education isn’t compromised.

5. Stay active, social (at a distance), and mindful.

You might be feeling isolated, and if you struggle with anxiety, this may trigger your anxiety. Physical activity can help, even if that means doing chores around the house. There are many at-home workout videos to try. Personally, I love yoga and cardio at home, but I’m currently in a boot, so chair yoga is my friend. For social connection, text your friends, FaceTime them, play video games, and so forth. Lastly—mindfulness. Try to stay in the present moment and practice mindfulness activities and meditation. You can find wonderful videos online. I enjoy journaling, coloring, and deep breathing. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed emotionally and mentally, reach out to someone—your friends, professors, or the Moravian College counseling center. The center offers teletherapy, or you can email them. We may not be able to be around each other physically, but technology is beautiful for keeping us together. 

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