Survival Guide to Online Learning

Illustrated by Bridget Rios

Janice Luong

Opinions Editor

UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) has extended remote learning once again, and some students feel anxious while attempting to stay focused at home. Here are some tips to keep in mind that can alleviate work-from-home anxieties and hopefully remove some stress from an already stressful global event.  

  1. Create a Routine

Just like you have a routine when attending classes on campus, create a routine for yourself at home. When the day is disorganized, you’re more likely to stress out and be overwhelmed by the tasks you have to get through for the day. Also, added stress makes it harder to focus in class. 

  1. Find An Environment That Works for You 

Sometimes it is easier said than done to just say “find a quiet place.” So, find an environment that suits your mental needs. Sometimes noise isn’t the biggest challenge. You can work outside, in a coffee shop, the living room, or your yard; I suggest somewhere spacious with comfortable seating, where you won’t be overly distracted by background activity. 

  1. Find The Sun 

I’ve noticed that I am in a much better mood and a lot more awake in a sunny area or room during class. This can help alleviate drowsiness and mental burnout throughout the day since the sun can help relieve the stress of trying to focus. 

  1. Fidget but Stay in Your Seat!

If you’re a fidgeter, that’s totally fine! Fidget if that is what helps you concentrate, but try not to leave your seat as you’ll give more time to being distracted than actually listening and focusing on your courses. Leaving your seat too often consistently breaks your attention and focus when you’re trying to reinforce it. 

  1. Be Present

This is a difficult one! Being present is sometimes exhausting, but what I find is that the more I force myself to be present and actively engage during lectures, the easier it becomes over time. You may be able to retain more information from the course rather than just passively doing things. By achieving this, you potentially get to create more time for yourself since you are retaining information during lectures and don’t have to return to readings as much. 

  1. Prep a Drink or Snack Next to You 

This is another way to discourage yourself from hopping in and out of your seat. I find that this also helps to alleviate fidgeting. Also, it’s good to fuel your brain and gain some extra energy!

  1. Understand That Your Current Mental Capacity Does Not Set You Off For the Week 

We have to work with what we have during the pandemic. Instead of focusing on how difficult it is to learn online, ditch this unproductive stress and focus on the matter at hand. You don’t need to stress yourself out even more!

The pandemic has made our college experience unique and unprecedented, but it’s worth reframing how we talk about our situation, so in the future, we can look back and appreciate our years here.