A couple of weeks ago, students at Binghamton University had no way of predicting that they would spend the rest of the semester working remotely. Online classes pose new challenges, including the inability to recreate the in-person class experience. For those who have returned home, it can also be tough to socialize with friends. Luckily, with the right plan, you can do your best to emulate the college experience from home and have an enriching academic and social life through finals week.
Organize your space
Whether you stayed in the Binghamton area or decided to go home, you can set up an organized space conducive to academic success. Designating a specific space, even if it’s a corner of a room, to call your own and keep neat can help you get through this time. Get a desk, table or some other flat surface that you can use to do your schoolwork and try to find a comfortable place to sit, whether it be a chair, exercise ball or beanbag. Keep your work space simple by using only the school supplies you need for a specific task. To keep track of tasks, draw out your responsibilities and assignments on a piece of paper and tape it above your desk or on a flat surface so that you can easily look at it.
It can be difficult to have a quiet working environment at home. If noise distracts you, try drowning it out with instrumental versions of your favorite songs. Some good groups include Vitamin String Quartet and 2CELLOS, which both cover a variety of songs. If you can’t listen to music at all, try using white noise recordings or working outside. While maintaining appropriate social distancing, you could go to a local park, sit on the steps of your home or sit in your backyard.
Use social distancing to come closer together
Although social distancing makes it difficult to see friends and classmates, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, Facebook Messenger and Zoom all give you the ability to “hang out” with your friends and see them while you video-chat. If you miss going to the dining hall and catching up with friends after a long day, you can plan a time when your whole friend group can eat together virtually. With Chrome extensions like Netflix Party and Rabbit, you can also watch shows and movies together.
Be leisurely productive
A lot of us enjoy watching Netflix, scrolling through social media or doing other media-related activities. There are ways, however, to immerse yourself in media that relates to your studies. YouTube channels like Crash Course can make any subject more enjoyable and help you ace your online classes. If you want to work on self-improvement, you can choose to become an expert at something unrelated to your coursework; a simple YouTube or Google search can yield plenty of resources.