Online school, Check!

Advice, tips and tricks on how to stay motivated and focused during online school.


Kate McCarthy, Co Editor-in-Chief

Online school: long, boring, and hard to be engaged in. At this point, we’ve all grappled with the challenges that come with zoom screens and virtual classrooms. Most of the time, it’s not fun. You stare at a gallery of grey boxes, struggle with wifi issues and attempt to learn materials and interact with a screen. With all of these issues at play, it can be hard to find the motivation to continue working hard and engaging in online school. As a fellow student who has been struggling in the same way, I have some tips and tricks that I have found work for me as I attempt to tackle these long, screen-filled days. 

First, make sure that you start your day right. I have found that if I attempt to wake up only minutes before logging on, I am unfocused and exhausted. Rather, wake up like you would for a normal school day. For me, I would recommend waking up about 20-30 minutes before class. Brush your teeth, get some breakfast, take a walk around the house, make your bed and wake up and be ready to learn for the day. This way, you’re not half asleep and thinking of different things as you are trying to learn in your zoom class. 

Second, build a routine in your day. This may sound silly, but make yourself a planned-out schedule for your day so that it feels it has a purpose and a path. Like I said before, wake up at the same time. In addition to this though, change clothes and take a shower. Go down for lunch at the same time and plan out your evening ahead of time. Sometimes, it feels as though homework is hard to do since you won’t be turning in assignments in person. To combat this, make a checklist for you to complete and slowly complete assignments and take breaks. Whatever you need to do, make a plan and tackle what needs to be done for the day. 


Senior Kate McCarthy takes her dog, Sully, for a walk after school ends.

Third, don’t procrastinate. During online school, many teachers will give you assignments that are due in a couple days. You have to ensure that you don’t leave the assignments till the night before they’re due. Instead, try to complete small chunks of assignments each day so that the work isn’t so large that it feels overwhelming. Part of the reason why we procrastinate is due to the feeling of being overwhelmed. We think about something we need to do, but then once we realize how much work that will be we find some reason to avoid it. There are a lot of assignments during online learning, sadly, but if you knock chunks off of your lists slowly the list becomes less scary.  

Finally, treat your mental health with kindness. This point is the most important of all the advice I have given you so far: be kind to yourself! Virtual school is hard, it can feel lonely and isolating at times. Do things that make you happy: pet your dog, Facetime your friends, watch Netflix, go on walks, hangout with your family, visit your neighbors. Whatever you need to do as something that makes you happy – do it! In addition to this, many sites recommend meditation to help cope with mental health. Apps such as Headspace are phenomenal tools to unwind and relax after a long stressful day.

So in the end, there are many ways to improve motivation during online school. Set goals for yourself, make sure you are trying to have as normal of days as possible, but most importantly do things that make you happy! Procrastination can be a scary thing, but with some sticky notes and checklists you can easily combat it!