close-up view of someone's hands working on a laptop with a textbook in the background
Well, here you are, or rather, here we all are! Total online learning at Casper College, thanks to COVID-19.

For those who have never really tried online classes, it can be a bit of a learning curve to get into the swing of things. But, never fear, we have some tips to help you navigate through this temporary “new normal.”

Don’t procrastinate

If you always have your assignments done early, then you can skip this step, but if you tend to wait until the day before, this is for you. Being online doesn’t mean that there aren’t deadlines for assignments. You still need to get those chapters read, that paper written, etc.

Set up a daily schedule. Setting up a regular schedule is a great way to adjust to online life. Just because you don’t have to actually be in a classroom with others, you still need to be ready for the day. Set your alarm, wake up, and get ready for class. Prepare yourself for the day ahead with a tasty breakfast and gather whatever supplies you will need for your online experience, like a good cup of joe! Your schedule may take the form of a calendar or a planner, but whatever it is, make sure you set up specific times to participate in “live” classes and also to do your homework. You might even need to make to-do lists to keep yourself on track with your assignments.

Create your very own study space

You need to create a space specifically for study purposes. That means it shouldn’t be your bed — your back will kill you after a while, and you might fall asleep — but also not a location full of distractions. Those distractions could be other people in the room, a turned-on TV, anything that distracts you from your studies. Find a location with good light, perhaps near a window, and also a good lamp. A comfortable chair and a desk or table are also necessities. If you aren’t comfortable, it will be hard to focus.

Take breaks

Plan on taking a break every 45-50 minutes. Get up, move around, stretch a bit. Go get a drink of water. Go outside and smell the fresh air. But whatever you do, don’t get right on your phone. Checking messages or looking at notifications is a huge time drain and an easy way to get sidetracked. To spare yourself, turn off those notifications. You might even want to check out the many apps that will actually help you curb the time you spend on your phone. A few you might want to check out include Moment, OFFTIME-Away Mobile, — not OFFTIME: Unplug and disconnect, OffScreen: Screen Time Tracker, and two fun ones: Plantie-Stay focused and Study Bunny: Focus Timer.

Take care of yourself

Remember to wash your hands frequently and for 20 seconds. How to do that? Sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself, your favorite superhero, pet, or whatever! If you find you need to leave your home, remember to practice social distancing and stay 6 feet away from others. Eat well, and take your time. Don’t rush but savor each bite and enjoy it. For snacks, keep some fresh fruit on hand like bananas, apples, and citrus fruits. Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. To kick start your day, try adding the juice of half a lemon to a cup of water. Many experts recommend using lukewarm water. You’ll get a nice dose of vitamin C, potassium, and you can get a good energy boost.

Don’t wait to ask for help

We are always here for you! Even though campus is closed, Casper College employees are working remotely. Remember, each of your instructors want you to succeed. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

For more detailed information on the library and available research tools, the writing center, the bookstore, the student success center, advising and registration, as well as wellness resources available to you, be sure to check out our Keep Learning page, too.

You may discover that most things between in-class and online learning are the same. What you did to succeed in a classroom will be the same things you need to succeed online.

Now, take a deep breath. You can do this!

Check out our Keep Learning web page for additional information on temporary remote learning resources.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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