Ironically, it can be harder going to school online than sitting in a classroom. If you’re used to having to show up and listen to a professor lecture, then distance learning can feel disconnected and unstimulating. School provides a structure that a lot of students need to get up and be engaged with their material. Without the need to even get dressed, you may find yourself prone to lounging around all day in your pajamas, barely even logging into school or leaving reading until assignments are due. Just because you’re learning from afar doesn’t mean school should come second in your life. If you struggle to stay motivated online, these are some simple tips and tricks that’ll help you make a schedule and actually enjoy college online.
Use Your Student Email to Score Major Discounts
Having a .edu account comes with serious perks. Sites like Amazon Prime offer you a 50-percent off discount, which lets you watch TV and movies without having to pay more for Netflix or Hulu. You can also look for other student discounts online that range from a permanently reduced rate to premium subscription packages for half the cost. From streaming to music, the internet is any college student’s oyster. But don’t stop there and you can check with local establishments to get lower admissions rates to museums and historical sites, cheaper food and drinks. You may also even be able to get lower airfare or amazing rewards by signing up for a student credit card.
Use Subscription Boxes to Save Time and Money
Buying what you love through a subscription service saves you a trip out and also gives you better goods for a lower rate. If you tend to shop online or make random purchases when you’re bored, a subscription box can help you curb the habit. Since you’re usually signing up for monthly deliveries, this gives you something to look forward to that can help you hold off on other purchases. Whether you want to try new makeup, get exclusive nerdy merch or pop culture collectibles, there’s a box for any style and interest. Another perk is the fact that you get more exposure to new things, even if you are completely unacquainted with the box you’re buying. Let’s say you want to get into healing and crystals.
It would be expensive to go to a shop and start loading up on things you know nothing about, especially if you’re just a curious novice who may not even want to pursue the habit beyond a little exploration. A subscription box can help you try new things without going broke; you often get smaller, sample-size items that give you a taste of something you can go on to buy later. If you don’t like it, cancellation is easy, and you can even save stuff that isn’t your cup of tea away to gift to family and friends. If you’re a smoker, you may want to look into the Daily High Club, a marijuana subscription box that comes each month packed with different accessories. You can get unique dabs, bongs, smoke rings, and more all in a box that’s dropped off at your doorstep.
Have Study Sprints
Bursts of energy are more effective than hours of coffee-fueled, sleep-deprived cramming. It’s a known fact by any seasoned college student that spending hours on the same subject doesn’t make you any better at it; if you really want to do well in class and actually learn something, plan to study in 20- to 40-minute intervals throughout the day. This will give you a chance to break down the material into more manageable chunks and retain more information. Opt for at least two hours of studying per day in each class. If you have a ton of reading, start by looking at each chapter’s summary and rephrasing the main points into questions. This will give you a mental framework to keep in mind as you progress through the reading.
The truth is that a lot of college textbooks aren’t mean to be read cover to cover. Instead, they provide a broad overview of a subject that you can customize to your needs. Compare the course syllabus and module learning objectives with your textbooks’ table of contents. Then, write out a map that will help you chart your way through without becoming overwhelmed or burnt out. At the end of each day, make your final study spring a review session where you draw five to ten main points that cover everything you learned that day. This can be hard, but it also helps untrain the habit many high schoolers enter college with to transcribe rather than synthesize information they pick up through studying.
Keep a Physical Notebook
Although e-books allow you to highlight and take notes in the course, it can all start to look the same when you’re staring at a screen for hours. Keeping physical notes can help you memorize information more easily, and it gives you an easy way to review important topics without having to click through the same pages over and over again. Flashcards are also still incredibly effective all throughout college. Rather than using them solely for vocabulary, write specific dates you need to memorize, the names of important figures or formulas to quiz yourself routinely. You can just unplug, unwind, and flip through them while you enjoy a nice drink or get some fresh air.
Use the Thesaurus
But don’t think every word is completely synonymous with what you’re trying to say. One part of expanding your vocabulary is learning the nuances of each word, and why some more common terms are more appropriate than the fancy-sounding one you found on Google. One error many inexperienced college writers make is focusing too much on how their words sound instead of what they’re actually saying. Although you are being graded on tone and style, that plays a much smaller role compared to the ideas you present, the arguments you make, and the overall composition of your paper.