By Angelina A. , Elite Academic Academy Student

Originally created for our CTE Social Media Marketing course

Whether you were forced into virtual school due to the pandemic or you made the decision long before or after the pandemic came about, the switch to online schooling is hard for many students. Adapting to the schedule of creating your own school work and independent study can certainly come as a challenge, especially since we are so used to having our school schedule planned out for us. It is not anymore the days of simply just having the task of showing up to class and listening to our teacher talk.

Put The Distractions Down, Focus.

Putting your mobile device or any distractions away during study time is pivotal to your success, and in this aspect, virtual schools and in-person classes are identical. In this article published by the Science News Bureau, it states that studies show that if you constantly have some fidget or device that will cause you to lose focus on the task at hand, your brain will be unsuccessful at retaining information. Even if you think that despite your need for entertainment, you are paying good attention to the material, your brain is not going to be able to process the information effectively, and when it comes time to recall the information for a test, etc., you will be unable to. This can ultimately lead to bad grades; as we all know, oftentimes this leads to a domino effect. 

Find What Time Of Day Works Best For YOU

This is another very important factor to pay close attention to. Everybody’s different; some people feel their best as soon as they wake up; while others may need to get up, eat, exercise, and maybe journal before they feel their brain is performing at its best; and on the other end of the spectrum, some people feel the most alive at night time, and quite literally dead in the daytime. Whichever one sounds most like you is perfectly fine! Just be sure to utilize your brainpower when it is at its highest.

After all, trying to get schoolwork done when your brain is foggy or just simply unable to focus will not benefit you. If anything, it will cause you to lose motivation for school altogether, which we certainly don’t want. Just think about it; doing your school when your brain is most powerful will allow you to be able to flow through your school work effortlessly, at least with less effort than it would take if you tried doing your school while your brain juices were performing poorly.

Set Reasonable Goals, Plan!

Setting reasonable goals is focal when it comes to succeeding in any aspect of your life, and schoolwork is no different. When I say reasonable, I don’t mean to set super easy goals that you

know you will be able to complete with little to no effort, but I also don’t want you to set goals that will have you working every moment of your day with no time to enjoy your life outside of

school. What I mean by reasonable goals are goals that you know you can accomplish as long as you plan your time appropriately and genuinely focus. Having goals that you want to achieve allows you to have something to look forward to, and achieving goals related

to school will make you more excited to actually do your schoolwork because of the dopamine release that you get from accomplishing goals. The article, The Importance, Benefits, and Values of Goal Setting, by Leslie Riopel, MSc., is a great guide to start setting your goals and it also talks about the effects of goal setting and accomplishment on our mind, overall success, and happiness.

Find A Study Buddy

It can be highly beneficial to have another person that’s willing to sit in a quiet study room with you and work on school tasks together, giving each other support when it’s needed. In simple terms, we are largely affected and influenced by those that are around us. For instance, if you are in a room full of people that are playing games and watching TV, within 10 minutes of being in their presence, you are going to be doing the same thing that they are doing. On the other more positive hand, if you sit in a room with another person that is focused and studying, you are 10x more likely to follow in their footsteps, as well.

There are plenty of ways to find somebody you can have study dates with. One of the most evident and obtainable ways is by getting in contact with somebody that is in one of your classes. You can find these people in your class discussions or even in specific assignments where you and your classmates share your projects with each other. Or, if you went to in-person classes, get in contact with your old classmates! It’s always nice to get back in contact with old friends.

Utilize The Resources Available To You

Take a moment to realize the fact that you are home and free to utilize any resources that you’d like, whenever you’d like! For example, if you’re a visualiser, then bring out that giant whiteboard that’s been abandoned in the garage for years. That way, you have something to brainstorm your ideas for your project on. Or, if you need frequent refreshers in order to maximize your brain’s focus, then utilize the fact that you can take a quick fresh-air walk break whenever you’d like. The list can go on and on, but the point I am trying to make is to utilize the fact that you are not in the enclosed environment that you are used to being in with traditional school; you have the freedom to create the best, most individualized study schedule to maximize your success.

Exercise Maximizes Brainpower

Exercise is undoubtedly the most beneficial thing anyone can do for themself. From curing depression to keeping your heart healthy and reducing your risk for health problems at every point in your lifetime. The effect that exercise has on your brain is probably the most

notable effect that we should mention in this blog. In this article published by the CDC, they touch on the exact effects that exercise has on our brain and our body. “Physical activity can improve your cognitive health—helping you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance. It can improve memory and reduce anxiety or depression”. These results have come after decades of studying neuro and physical science; there’s no rebutting these facts! If you want to improve your cognitive health and, ultimately, your cognitive performance, exercise for at least 8 hours every week.

Stay In Contact with Your Teachers

This is pretty obvious, but surprisingly enough, many students, including myself, forget that we have complete access to our teachers despite being at home. For me personally, this comes as a result of not having to go into a class and see my teacher daily. The reason may be completely different for you, but regardless, reaching out to your teacher when you find yourself stuck on a project or unclear on directions is essential to your success as a student. After all, being your teacher and ensuring your success is your teacher’s job! Regardless if you are in person or not, these individuals are supposed to be there to support their students with any questions or concerns, big or small.

Lastly, Make A Schedule, and Stick To It

The final step to creating a master plan for success regarding this challenging new school concept is to create an effective and well-thought-out schedule for your weekdays.

This may take you a couple or even a few weeks to perfect, but the steps are simple; by just simply paying attention to what works best for you and makes you feel your best (mentally and physically), you will be able to put these findings into a master plan and set yourself up a schedule!