Staying on Track in a World Full of Chaos
By Erin Rebello
It’s no secret that we are all experiencing a strange and scary new reality. With the sudden shift from socializing to social distancing, it truly seems like the world is being flipped upside down. One thing that is on a lot of student’s minds is schoolwork. As of right now, the Government of Ontario has cancelled in-person school until September at the earliest. While this might mean that there are no exams, (woot woot!) this decision also brings on many changes, including the switch to online school and e-learning.
Utilizing relatively new software such as Google Classroom, Brightspace, and Zoom, students have made the sudden switch to e-learning. This is an extremely short transition period, especially considering that some students have never taken an online course before. Students must also adapt to a completely different style of learning, going from being taught to having to teach themself. It can be very challenging for students to stay on track with their work, but it’s important to remember that there are ways to improve!
The first and most important thing to do to stay on track would be to stay organized. Staying organized means different things to different people. For some, it’s setting reminders on their phone, while for others it’s keeping a to do list. Personally, I like to make a checklist of things I need to get done every day. Having a list of my daily tasks allows for me to understand what I need to complete, while also not overwhelming myself with work that is due later on. I also love the accomplished feeling of being able to check something off my list! Since everyone has different studying techniques that work for them, you shouldn’t ever feel scared to experiment with new methods of organization. You never know, you might even find a method that improves your study habits way beyond this school semester.
As ironic as it may sound, another way to stay on track is by talking with your friends! No that doesn’t mean calling with them 24/7, but it does mean keeping in touch and working together. Without full lessons, it can be difficult to understand complicated concepts. One way to overcome this barrier is to get in touch with friends and help each other with homework. Are you struggling with French? Talk with a friend who takes the same class and ask for help with tricky concepts. Is your friend having difficulty with math while you understand it fairly well? Reach out to them and lend a helping hand. In a time where everyone is isolated, peer-to-peer support is crucial to keeping up with your studies
The last piece of advice, and perhaps the most important piece of advice, would have to be to stay in contact with your teachers. Not only will it improve your relationship with them, but it will also make your life ten times easier. Never be scared to ask for help, no matter how silly your question may seem. Even if it’s something as simple as clarifying a question, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Another thing to remember is that teachers and school staff are there to help, and are typically quite understanding during these times. If you don’t think you’ll be able to submit work on time, send them an email and explain your situation. In most cases, they’ll be able to make arrangements for you to send in your work at a later date. Just don’t make a habit of it!
Overall, although we are all facing difficult and unprecedented times, there are ways to stay on track with your studies. By staying organized, asking your friends for help, and keeping in touch with your teacher, you can make online learning a much less stressful experience!