Hello there ! Welcome back for the first post of 2021-2022 Back-to-School season on the blog ! Today, we are starting this serie with a very big post and very accurate actually. Today we’re going to talk about Study from Home. I think we all know that this is about, no need to explain it much further. What I’m going to talk to you about today is about how to managed it, how to get through it without killing yourself or someone else, how to succeed. I’ll give you many tips and advices, that I’ve collected from my 8 years of studies and my experience from the last year, which taught me a lot about the do and don’t when it comes to study from home.
Let’s get started !
#How to avoid as much as possible being on the computer ?
The first thing I realized about this kind of situation is that you de facto spend too much time on the computer, behind your screen. And it’s absolutely no good. For about 4 months, I’ve been spending 12 hours a day at my computer. It resulted in painful headaches, pain in the eyes, nausea, lack of appetite and so on. This is why I highly recommend to you to avoid as much as possible being on the computer. But how ? Of course you’ll have to use it when attend to courses and so on, but there are other moments you can avoid.
First, print as much as possible your documents, exercices and so on. This way, the amount of time you’ll spend working on these documents, making these exercices etc won’t be on the computer, your eyes will have a rest. Believe me it’s far better to spend money on ink and paper than injuring your health.
The other hack I’ve for you is about class time on the internet. In my case, we would have Zoom sessions, and I wouldn’t turn my camera on, only for my presentations (it’s better if people can see the person presenting). I wouldn’t turn my camera on for many reasons. The first reason is that I didn’t want people to see inside my house, see my family members walking through the house etc (I only had the dining room and the living room as “workplace”), basically for matter of privacy. The other reason is linked to our subject. Turning off my camera would allow me to set the computer aside and just listening to the teacher and watch the least possible the screen. I couldn’t have done that with my camera on, people would have probably found me disrespectful and so on.
To give you an example, I did have so Russian grammar courses. During this class, we would work on a lot of exercices the teacher would project on the screen so that we would all be able to look at them in the same time and know where she was. To avoid looking too much at the screen, I did print out the documents, as she did make everything available for us to be able to work on them by ourselves outside class. This way, I would look at my papers and not the screen when doing the exercices in class. Of course sometimes I would have a look on the screen, when she would be giving some explanation about something and/or to just check what was going on. Another example: for my translation courses, I did print out all the texts we were given and I would work on the papers with a paper dictionnary. I would never use the online options, only when the paper one wasn’t enough and for a very small time.
To avoid being too much on the computer, the idea is very simple: everything you can do without the computer, without the internet, do it without them. Turn off your device. Cut off the screen time anytime the opportunity comes.
#How not to lose motivation ?
When studying from home, you can very easily lose motivation, especially if you’ve become a student just recently. Even for me, who was a 8 years senior in the student sphere, it was sometimes hard for me and I wondered if it was worthy. But this kind of thoughts appeared in my head for just a few hours, never more than a day. I had a lot of experience in university so I had broad shoulders, enough to keep on track. But not everyone is in the same situation as I was. I know that these last two years, many students gave up on their studies, because they felt discouraged and so on. So, here are my advices not to fall into this trap and keep all your motivation.
First, make sure you have moments to breath and relax. Empty your head so that you don’t get sick of your courses.
Second, make studies fun. Yes, you read it right. I wrote “fun”. Use pretty notebooks and write with colors your lessons in it. Listen good music when doing your exercices. Have fun with your presentations (I always did pretty powerpoints, it made the process even more enjoyable. It wasn’t just about making a boring powerpoint for a boring presentation anymore. I had fun making these.)
Third, talk about your lessons and so on with others. Not only talking about it heps you to memorize what you learned, but it makes you feel better. Talking about what you study makes it even more interesting and makes you feell even more motivated about it.
#How to progress even so ?
Not having class as usual, only on your computer, you obviously interact far less with your teachers and colleagues and so you may progress less. This is why studying from home isn’t a good option most of the time. It’s definitely not the same from being in a classroom with other people. But there’s still a way to keep making progress even so. To compensate the lack of interactions and work with the others, you’ll have to provide even more personal work. How ?
There’re different ways, you can make more exercices from other books (In addition to my grammar class, I did many exercices from a book we didn’t use in class. This way I made much more progress than if I had only relied on the class.) Read books about the subjects you’re studying, watch videos about these. If you’re learning a language, here is a dedicated post I made, it will surely helps you. Check it here.
#What about family life, everyday life, everything that isn’t relevant to studies ?
As it is the case with work from home, study from home can be very time-consuming and you may end up not doing anything else, slowly spending your whole day on that and giving up on family life etc. This is a problem. In my case, for about a month, I was the “housewife” of the house. My parents were away and only my brother and I were left at the house. In addition to my courses, I had to clean the house, take care of the pets, do laundries, do the cooking, everything basically. And it was very hard. I ended up, for many classes actually, placing the computer on the dining table, turning on the sound as high as possible, turning the camera off and working on something else while listening to the teacher. And it wasn’t ideal, you probably already know that. Actually, I still don’t really know how I managed. This was quite stressful.
So, how to avoid this kind of situation? If you have the chance not being alone at home, it’s easier than it was to me for a month, but still, you have to take part to home life, the family life. There’s only one advice I can give you about that. And I know it can be very difficult, but that’s the only one and it demands, well… discipline. You have to set work hours and no work hours. It means you need to be able to manage doing your work during the work time and not having to go beyond that amount of time. Obviously you can bend the rules sometimes, but only occasionally. It’s about setting the priorities (I honestly left aside some of the work because it was too much, but luckily I didn’t have to do this that much as, after 8 years of studying, I already have enough experience to be able to manage well my work time.
To avoid the work, your courses taking over your everyday life, all of your time, you have to contain it, to set limits. And I know it’s not that easy to make sure you don’t go beyond these limits, but until know, there’s no other solution. Unless you know how to stop time or to extend a day, I would honestly be very interested in that !😅
And to manage well your time, the key is to be organized. For that, I have a few trackers templates for you, based on what I did for myself during the last 4 months, and it really helped me. I wouldn’t have managed everything the way I did, without these trackers.
During the last months, I’ve been working on this template, based on what I used during my last year in university. I tested them for you and believe me, it works really well. For the first semester, I didn’t have these and it was quite hard to keep on track. However, after I set them in place for the second semester, to get more easily through things, it did improve so much the process. It really helped me work more efficiently. A big game changer ! So here there are, available for free for all of you.
Blue Template Homework Tracker: download here.
Pink Template Homework Tracker: download here.
Neutral Papers and Presentations Tracker: download here.
Classes Schedule: download here.
That’s all for taoday’s post. I hope you like it and found it useful.
Thank you for passsing by and reading my blog. Your support, even silent, is always valuable to me and bring me more joy than you can imagine.
I’ll talk to you soon in a next post.
Until then, take care of yourself ❤