While the saying “learning is not limited to the four walls of the classroom” is familiar to all students, we certainly didn’t expect to live out the quote by taking all our classes fully online — but it is a reality that many of us face today. This has become the new school set-up, which definitely took some getting used to and came with its own set of challenges and perks.
The first weeks of school was a wild ride, to say the least. Navigating classes was challenging at first, as both students and teachers were still adjusting. It truly took a team effort to make the learning experience successful. An unexpected struggle for me was the fatigue I initially felt. I was confused because I was easily tired and sleepy, even if classes weren’t as physically demanding. I realized that it came from dealing with a different set-up for classes and for org responsibilities, so I learned to accept the adjusting phase and to not be afraid of the journey. After that, I can say that I’m now more or less adapted to this new normal, with some realizations I learned along the way.
Most of my classwork is asynchronous, with a few synchronous lectures within the week. Deadlines were also more lenient in consideration of internet concerns and other problems. This meant that I had more freedom in how I schedule my school days and accomplish my tasks. Kahit na masarap to watch and play all day and save all the work for later, I took it upon myself to set up a school routine to help me get things done. Online classes taught me how to become more responsible and how to budget my time wisely. Now, I can balance school tasks while taking care of responsibilities, with spare time for rest!
Online classes made me miss the little things, such as kwentuhan with friends before and sometimes even during class, and all the kulitan—knowing that I am experiencing the roller coaster ride of college with friends. However, with online school, I can’t help but feel a bit lonelier. While it is still possible to message my friends, it’s not the same as sharing laughter and stories IRL.
Aside from this, doing the majority of schoolwork on gadgets in the same place felt paulit-ulit at times. With quizzes, assessments, and groupwork all being done on a screen, they sometimes turn into a blur of keyboard typing, holding video calls, and reading files here and there. It would honestly be difficult sometimes to keep myself motivated since it felt like I was doing the same type of things, all within the confines of a laptop.
Now, school has become another facet of our lives that has turned to digital means, aside from using gadgets to hang with my friends and to soak up some entertainment. Because of this, my screen time has shot up, which would sometimes cause eye concerns. I would occasionally feel eye strain or tired eyes, which meant that I need to stop and take a break from doing schoolwork on the laptop.
With all the changes and adjustments online classes has brought, I discovered some hacks that helped me in this new normal of learning, which might be helpful for you, too!
Change up your study location
What helped me break the monotony of online class was to occasionally switch up my study space. Every now and then, I trade working in my bedroom for studying on our dining table or moving to my sisters’ room. A change of scenery does not necessarily mean a completely different set-up, but even just moving around to different areas in the house can help keep studying interesting. As a person who is very particular about my study environment, this helped spice my school routine up.
Keep a hobby that doesn’t require a screen
Now that online classes have increased my gadget usage, what’s been helpful for me was to unwind through activities and hobbies that don’t require a screen. This led me to tap into my creative juices more, such as consistently drawing on my sketchbook, journaling more often, and tending to my garden. While I still use my gadgets to watch my shows and to talk to my friends, I’ve became more conscious of my gadget consumption for leisure to avoid eye problems.
Psyche yourself up
With the line between home and school blurred, it can be difficult to get myself in the proper headspace for school. To overcome this, taking concrete steps was important. I sometimes dress up, wearing nicer pambahay and putting a bit of makeup. It also meant making my study space conducive for learning and avoiding studying in my bed to avoid unexpected naps. Prepping yourself is different for everyone, so find what works for you so that you are mentally geared up for school.
Adjusting to this new school situation is no easy feat, so don’t be too hard on yourself! Be proud of all your hard work and treat yourself to a break sometimes. Know that you can always turn to others for support, and Edukasyon.ph is also here to help you along this journey!