By Benjamin Nguyen
Honestly, I’m not proud to say that I wasn’t a good student during online learning this last year. I slacked off on my assignments, rarely attended Zoom calls or teacher hours, and failed to make the most out of many learning opportunities presented.
With the 2020-2021 school year upon us and the option of a blended/online learning format made public to students, I think that this small guide will be the start of regaining a lost work ethic while maintaning a sense of independence. I’ve tried implementing it into my own routine during this summer, and it’s worked out well for me so far.
- At the start of the week, figure out specifically what things you want to do. It can’t be a concept or a vague ending (“get good at piano”), but rather a clear and constructed goal with a defined path (“learn to play XX piece up to measure ___”). Try to arrange each task in a list, with the most important one at the top.
- Set a consistent sleep/wakeup routine, eventually planning to get up early (will help with attending blended Zoom lessons). I missed so many of my Zoom calls because I either overslept or was too tired to even notice it happening. Using an alarm helps too as you’re getting used to a new schedule.
- Focus on getting your work done at your desk/stand/etc., trying to get the most important stuff first
- Take breaks during assignments! It helps to recenter your mind and makes it easier to think about future tasks. I personally do 8 minutes of relaxing per hour of studying (or 15 minutes relaxing/2 hours studying), but that ratio is up to you. Just make sure you stick to your defined schedule.
- Make sure to hydrate yourself, you’ll find that not drinking enough water will clog your mind. I usually have a cup of ice water (summer months!) near me to sip while doing work.
- At the end of each day, think about what you’ve done to further your weekly goal before going to sleep. It doesn’t have to be long or detailed, just an acknowledgement of your efforts for the day. You can pat yourself on the back for doing a good job; you can chide yourself for progressing as far as you’d hoped. Either way, both are good tools to reinforce good habits for the future.
As a rising senior at GVHS, I think this guide will be very helpful to me as I work my way through college applications and later self-direct myself for studying at the university I choose to go to. I hope you can find your own value in this guide and achieve your own set goals in the future.