This blog addresses the bugbear of every student who is finding it hard to study remotely during the current pandemic!  Some great tips here for staying focused and on track from Canadian student Justin Burtch, who is studying Marketing and Management in Limerick Institute of Technology.  

Are you a student? Well if so, you know the difficulties of attending the online classes that have become the norm during the current pandemic. Words from me, a 4th year at Limerick Institute of Technology:  “It’s about taking this experience at its fullest and making the most out of it”. What does that mean? Well below, this blog will go in-depth on tips that could help you enjoy your education and use this time as an excellent source for future employment.

Listen, this is not ideal for anyone and, quite honestly, classes are not as enjoyable. Half the time I find myself on but these tips have helped massively. With such easy access to click away without being caught, the temptation will always be there. This is absolutely not the fault of the schools or teachers as they can only do so much, but not having the accountability, engagement, and interactions in-person, it will never have the same impact in front of a screen.

However, as a student studying abroad in Ireland and taking online classes here, I’ve had to learn to adapt, and for a future employer adaption is key for any job because of the things that could be thrown your way, so like me, take this is a great learning opportunity.

Adaption and agility are key skills in the workforce now – and learning from home shows employers you can adapt (Image: Shutterstock)

Here are 5 tips that will help you through online school

Focus – This one is hard, but being there mentally and taking notes are some of the best ways to follow along, and then if your brain does shut off at least you wrote something to remind yourself what went on in your lecture. On top of that, if your professor/teacher provides PowerPoint slides, open that up to slow down the pace of the lecture and get the important concepts down.

Taking notes will help you to stay focused and pay attention Image: Shutterstock

Engage – When you can, and while appropriate, answer the teacher’s questions. It not only makes you feel part of the class but will help you listen up on what is next. Also, it keeps the ‘awkward meter’ down and helps your teacher from contemplating a career change.

Workspace – Get out of bed and go to a desk or table! According to the Sleep Division at Harvard, they say your mental association with your bedroom and sleep could be affected if you have electronics within the bed. It will take longer for you to fall asleep at night, plus why not have a space that will keep you prepared and productive throughout the day. Also, keep that space clean so when you get there you can focus on the right things.

Top tip – don’t work in bed! (Image: Shutterstock)

Organise – Write important dates down. There are many online tools (agendas/calendars, to-do-lists, etc.) that will help you schedule things needed to get done on time. For example, for my girlfriend and me, we put our deadlines on a chalkboard so we can prepare for tackling each of the tasks for the week. This helps so much for time management and not missing any assignments that could affect your grade by the end of things.

Routine – Having a daily routine can reduce stress and benefit your physical and mental health immensely. Knowing your weekly schedule for school classes, physical activities, and the times you sleep will help you function with the productivity that you desire on a day-to-day basis.

What are the key takeaways?

We need to stand together and continue to grow our education while keeping safe. As students going through a pandemic, we have learned to push on and this will be evident in our future because of our strength and determination from this experience. By using these tips above, it may help anyone, whether a student or working at home, to gain further insights on what I have done to make the most of this online learning opportunity. Try new things yourself and test different techniques that might benefit you.

Good luck with your studies! If you want to ask me anything, please reach out to my Instagram @justin_burtch and I will be sure to help. Cheers.