Staying motivated outside of the classroom

Art by Diana Scheinman
Remember to take the time to relax during remote learning. This is a stressful time for us all, and it’s necessary that we all allow ourselves breaks.

Chaotic mornings. Confusing schedules. Trying to remember what time you need to join the Google Meet, or better yet, what class you should even be in. Online school has already caused a lot of stress for students, adding to the pressure that comes along with the holiday season. 

To be honest, staring at screens all day and only having social interaction with classmates during breakout rooms is draining. It’s easy to start feeling like the world is caving in while students are stuck in a cycle of work without play. It’s at times like these where finding motivation is most vital.

While it may be difficult at first, it’s certainly possible to adjust to this new world we live in. Staying motivated and determined is essential right now, and it is possible. Students in any grade level, whether they are suffering with senioritis or nervous for their first round of midterms, can follow the guidelines below to stay on track.

1.) Sticking to a Schedule

Although it may sound simple to plan out your day in advance, sticking to a schedule can be difficult. Whether your schedule is written on paper or in the Reminder app on your phone, start planning out what you want to get accomplished for the day. 

This not only ensures that you have an idea of what needs to be done, but it also guarantees that you won’t forget about any assignments. Also, you don’t want to miss out on the satisfaction of crossing out parts of your list when you complete a task.

2.) Going to Bed Early

I promise I’m not saying this to sound like your parents, but going to sleep at a reasonable hour is absolutely essential right now. It is extremely tempting to stay up during the late hours of the night, but I can assure you the lack of sleep is not worth keeping yourself awake. 

Being groggy and sleep-deprived will only make the school day seem to drag on, and will stunt  your ability to complete work efficiently and to the best of your ability. By getting in those same z’s that you would in a regular school year, both your work and attitude will thrive.

3.) Eating Healthy // Exercising

Make sure to find the time to care for your body throughout the day. With classes forcing you to sit for hours, it’s imperative that you plan stretch and food breaks. Prepare a quick snack that you can munch on between classes, or stretch out your legs before you go back to your desk. 

Eating healthy and staying active will benefit you outside of the school day as well. Your body and mind will both feel significantly better, and working out is a great way to blow off steam from a stressful work day. 

4.) Keeping in Contact with Friends

While we can’t physically see our loved ones at the moment, it’s important to still keep your social life alive. It’s easy to fall into a pit of isolation when the only people you can see are your parents and siblings.

Make sure to call the people you care about. Take the time to sit down and have genuine conversations, not just sending Snapchat messages back and forth. Something as simple as asking someone how they’ve been can really improve their mood, and make you feel more connected to those you’re apart from. At the same time, don’t be afraid to look to those same people for help or guidance.

5.) Taking Mental Breaks

Most importantly, please take the time to simply do nothing related to school. It’s easy to get caught up in all the stresses that come along with being a high school student, but it’s important to enjoy being a teenager. 

Remember to participate in the activities that make you happy. Whether that means playing video games or making art, don’t let online school take your outlets away.

We have never had a challenge like this to face before, so don’t get discouraged if you find yourself struggling. Juggling school work and living in a pandemic-stricken environment is not something that comes naturally, so don’t be too hard on yourself. 

Keep your head up and stay positive, Lancer Nation. Hopefully we will be able to see each other again without screens in just a few weeks.