How are you doing? Truly. Are you well? Are you adjusting to your new routine? What are your biggest struggles when it comes to online learning? Have you discovered some tricks to help stay motivated? Would you like to know how other Concordians are faring? We were curious, too. So we asked around.
In a recent student survey, Concordians were invited to share their top tips for staying motivated to maintain their spiritual, academic, and physical health during this time of social distance. It definitely hasn’t been easy for anyone, but our resilient students have discovered different strategies that work for them.
Here are a few of the highlights from the long list of suggestions. Perhaps they could work for you, too.
“Alternate between doing your homework and doing the things you love.”
Sometimes that “thing you love” is Netflix, and that’s okay. As long as you pay attention to that alternating part!
“If you find you’re losing focus, find a new spot to study.”
It’s helpful to switch it up. Maybe you can do some studying for finals week outside (fingers crossed!) or in a new room different from your norm.
“Create a schedule and stick with it.”
Make sure your daily schedule includes a few healthy habits like exercise and fresh air.
“Use sticky notes to keep things straight.”
It’s helpful to have reminders right in front of your nose!
“Create a dedicated study space where you can focus on your school work. Ideally this is not your bed because then you might fall asleep.”
If you’re having trouble with productivity, it might be because of your learning space!
“Do your classes at the same time they’re scheduled so you have the rhythm of a regular school day.”
This tip takes some discipline, but we promise it will pay off in the long run.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
Faculty and staff—and usually your classmates, too— are more than willing to help, you just have to ask.
“Put a sign on your door to let your family know when you’re in class or studying.”
This helps to create a boundary so that family members can see, “Hmm… maybe I shouldn’t ask them to take the dog for a walk right now…” Try it!
“Use a daily planner on paper or find an app that works for you.”
There is so much information swirling around everywhere you look, sometimes it helps to have all of the important stuff in one place.
“FaceTime with friends every day. Don’t let yourself become isolated.”
Check in with your people, see how their doing, and be honest with them on how you are doing.
“Get a good workout in every day.”
Getting your heart-rate up each day is an important piece to staying productive and clearing your mind, and the endorphins exercise provides is an extra perk!
“Find a hobby that taps into your creative side.”
We recommend coloring, playing an instrument, gardening, painting, or mowing the straightest lines possible in your parents’ backyard. Get away from the screens and do something with the other side of your brain.
“Get dressed and ready every morning as if you’re leaving the house.”
It’s much easier to play the part when you look and feel the part!
“Get yourself a giant whiteboard calendar to keep track of deadlines.”
A big piece of cardboard and a sharpie works, too!
“When you feel lonely or uncertain, pray.”
The most important tip of them all. You are not alone in this season. Take your worries, fears, joys, and questions to the Lord in prayer.
While those tips are certainly useful, we want you to know that all of the resources you were accustomed to in-person—academic, health and wellness, career, advising, student life, and campus ministry—are still accessible to you online. Your coaches, resident advisors, campus pastors, professors, administrators, and staff are also available for you and are more invested than ever in your wellness and academic success.
While we are apart by distance, we are united together as Concordians.
— Lisa Liljegren is assistant vice president of strategic communications within the Office of Strategy and University Affairs.
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