The COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend life across the country, and colleges and universities have switched to remote learning in the wake of the crisis.
As UVM completes its first few weeks of remote learning, a group of students share advice on managing their course loads and well-being in this new reality. A new podcast In This Together also features tips from students on remote learning.
Make To-Do Lists
To-do lists are an effective way to prioritize the tasks you need to accomplish. Catie Markesich, a student in the UVM Master of Public Health Online Program, is well-versed in remote learning. Making lists helps her stay organized and on-task with assignments and projects.
Make sure your to-do lists include due dates and divide your large projects into smaller, bite-size pieces to avoid getting overwhelmed. When you’ve completed a task on your list, cross it out to give yourself a sense of accomplishment.
“I try not to think of the big things that are due for school,” Markesich says. “I try to make lists each day for what I want to get done that day. It could be reading five pages or listing three things to do for each class. It’s in very manageable bites. And if I can complete even one or two of those things on my list, then I feel like I’ve succeeded.”
New podcast In This Together Features Markesich.
Establish a Routine
Establishing a routine is a helpful strategy for remote learning. Be sure to aside consistent blocks of time to complete course work and identify a location in your home that will be most effective for working effectively.
“I think that it’s important to have a schedule, says UVM Post-Baccalaureate Premedical student Heather Calderwood. “I (set aside) a couple of hours doing anatomy and physiology, and then I’ll have a couple of hours where I’m doing lab work. I think that structure has been very helpful.”
Whether it’s emailing your professors or setting up Zoom calls with friends, it’s crucial to stay in touch and not become isolated during your remote learning experience. Ask questions and take advantage of opportunities to connect with faculty through email, office hours, and class. Engage with classmates within the formal confines of the course and outside of class. Be sure to reach out to friends and family for extra support.
“I’ve gone from getting a couple of emails a day from my professors to 10 to 20 from all my professors and the people I volunteer with,” says Evan Watkins, a UVM Post-Baccalaureate Premedical student. “I’ve been really lucky to make some good friends since I started the post-bac program. And I’ve been trying to keep up that that social network with them, even though I can’t necessarily see them in person. We’ve been talking on the phone and sending each other emails and messages. And I’ve been trying to keep up with all of my friends and family. I feel a little bit less isolated since I don’t get to see many people on a daily basis.”
Take a Break
It’s important to unplug digitally to avoid burnout. Go for a walk, read a book, or hang out with people in your household.
“I like creating my own schedule, but some coping strategies that I’ve developed are just making sure I’m getting outside,” says Jasmine Bazinet-Phillips, a UVM Post-Baccalaureate Premedical student. “I live next to the river in Winooski, so it’s really great. Just in general, being in Vermont and getting outside (helps).”
“I feel like sometimes I get a little burned out quickly,” she says. “So I took some time to go to the (Burlington) Waterfront. I just sat there by the lake and just meditated for like 30 minutes. That’s been helpful. Also is the recognition that I need to take more time out for myself than before.”
Interested in more remote learning or online learning advice? Students from the online Digital Marketing and Master of Public Health programs share their tips.
Additional resources are also available in our Student Support section.