5 tips for a successful finals week: online school edition

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By Miina McCown

Miina McCown/The Broadside

With finals week once again approaching, it is hard to believe that students are making their way towards the end of the 2021 spring term. Online learning is most likely not new for many Central Oregon Community College students, but it is always beneficial to get a refresher on some of the ways that one can have success and a healthy state of mind during these unusual conditions. Keep reading for some of the ways you can conquer your exams and courses in an online format.

  1. Make a study plan and to-do lists

The scary thing about online school is that it can feel optional when it is most definitely not. A good way to stay on track and to not lose sight of your top priorities is to form study plans and to-do lists. Identify your goals for each class and put them down in writing, preferably with a list of items that can be crossed off each day. This can especially help you feel fulfilled and motivated at the end of each workday. And even if you don’t exactly consider yourself a person who uses lists, it’s definitely worth giving a shot.

By Miina McCown
  1. Find a good study spot and clear it of distractions
By Miina McCown
https://www.midoregon.com/accounts/student.shtml

When studying mainly at home, it can be very easy to scroll through social media every five minutes and focus on anything but the material. A tip for avoiding this is to establish a spot designated for studying only and to put away anything that may be a distraction out of arm’s reach (If you’re like me, you’d be too lazy to stand up to reach for the distraction). Also, sometimes what one may need is a simple change of scenery. By switching up the location from what you are used to, you may find yourself more motivated and excited to study than before. 

  1. Find study methods that work for you

Most activities are performed differently by everybody, and studying is no exception. Most students undergo some form of a trial-and-error period where they find the study method that is the most effective for them, whether that be pomodoro or massed practice for memorization. Whatever the technique, it is important to maintain something with breaks between studying. While it sometimes may be easy to work and work without a break, it is ultimately not something you can do for days on end. Some of the best study plans incorporate frequent breaks, such as a ten-minute break after a fifty-minute study session or something of the sort. Taking frequent breaks such as these will likely allow you to clear your head and not get too burnt out, allowing you to work for long periods of time.

By Miina McCown
  1. Form study groups and find ways to study with others

Taking mainly online classes can feel isolating, due to the lack of interaction with other students or the instructor. One way to overcome this is through forming study groups with other students in the class by getting in contact through email and deciding on times to meet through Zoom or in a physically distanced face-to-face setting. Studying with a group is a good way to gain familiarity with the material since it provides opportunities for students to quiz each other and to confirm lesson points.

By Miina McCown
  1. Don’t neglect self-care
By Miina McCown

It can be easy to get too caught up in school and stress to the point where you may forget about something more important – mental health. It is vital to set aside time for yourself, especially when working at home. Go for a walk outside with a friend, watch the sunset or spend some time doing other activities you enjoy. Another vital way of maintaining mental health is exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. Without these things, performance on schoolwork will likely decline.

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