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How to Study at Home During Quarantine

September 16, 2020 4 min read 10 Comments

Studying for just about anything has a few basic tenets right? Good lighting, a comfy spot, your basic supplies, etc. Virtual studying, however, is well…uncharted territory. So what’s a student to do?

For most students, there’s still a lot of unknowns. Sadly, that includes whether or not students will be returning to traditional school settings or  just doing remote learning. Either way, whether it’s middle, high, undergrad, grad school or continuing ed, these at-home study tips should help you manage some of the “back-to-school pandemic stress” so we can crush those online academic goals!

BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS

Organize your calendar

It may not seem like it on the first day of class but a syllabus is your best friend. Carefully read through it beforehand and note down all the important dates in your calendar (think penciling in Zoom dates, exams, presentations as well as deadlines for papers and projects). 

I promise you, this simple little step really sets  a foundation that’ll help structure not only your day or week, but your academic year so you can be your most productive self.

Organize your school supplies + notes in one place

Having all your documents and office supplies neatly organized is a great way to usher in calmness and block what I like to call squirrel brain. That shift in thinking will add to your productivity which is always a win win.  

Besides, less time digging for things = more time for acing upcoming projects.

BEFORE CLASS

Get enough sleep

It’s  going to be super easy to fall asleep at your desk especially given that we’re either, a) learning or working from home, and b) your desk may be your bed or way too close to it. But resist the urge!

The best way to do that is by getting enough zzz’s. 

Unplug before you hit the sheets, keep your room as cool as possible, and avoid sugary snacks and drinks (especially those with caffeine) before bed. 

Another good sleep trick is adding some aromatherapy and/or relaxing music to your bedtime prep.  But if you’re still not counting sheep or are still super stressed, think back to my post on Signs You’re Stressed AF.  

P.S. It goes without saying that you should always consider speaking with your primary doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions. 

Prep your space

Whether it be a coffee table or the kitchen table, a space where you can access things like your  computer and books is a must for online classes.  Even if it’s not a “designated office” you can still make it conducive to a happy learning spot; think making a little grab basket with all your supplies and equipment.  That way you can take into any space and still feel like you’re ready to get to work. 

Where possible, try to shoot for a study spot with-good lighting. Not only so you can see your screen clearly but so others can see you well too (remember we’re living in the world of Zoom and Skype)! 

Last prep your space tip? Seek a quiet enough area where you can have the least amount of disruptions. This may mean adjusting your schedule around other household members to find that sweet quiet time.  

Dress the part

As much as we’d love to keep on our comfy PJs (#athomelife), this will only remind you, a) how sleepy you are and b) keep you in that ‘I’m too comfy to do anything but relax phase’.

Instead, swap out PJs for an oversized tee and leggings if you want to stay comfy but have an outfit that gets you in a study mood. Want to take it a step further? You could always treat your Zoom classes like you’re going to school and put your best fashion foot forward. Essentially, wear what you’d wear to in-person class at home.  

DURING CLASS

Mute those devices

If your online class requires you to use your mic and video, disabling/muting your notifications is a must (save for emergencies, however)! 

If you find yourself losing focus and drifting off like try to at least jot down as much as you can. Chances are, once you read over assigned reading and compare it to your notes, it will all start to make sense…hopefully.

Remember to take breaks

Real talk, classes are long and sometimes the material can be beyond boring. So, if your teacher offers breaks… TAKE EM’ as in run, don’t walk!

Stretch your legs, get a snack, dance it out! Whatever you need to do to let your mind and body replenish. 

AFTER CLASS

Study with friends/classmates online

If you miss group studying with your besties or classmates , don’t worry, you still can! Consider organizing some virtual study groups. 

Not only will you get your dose of socializing during social distancing, but you’ll also get to sneak some study time in too. You can even take it a step further and play event planner by coming up with some fun games or even putting together an agenda for the online meet-up!

More of a solo studier? After studying, try explaining what you’ve learned. Tell it to your cat, dog, bunny, an unsuspecting sibling (they probably owe you one anyway)! You can even practice in front of a mirror or record yourself.

Remember, if you can explain it, then you’ve aced studying. 


Online classes can be tough, but as long as we find ways to adapt to it, we can get some amazing results.

How have you adjusted to virtual learning?

10 Comments

  • Clair September 17, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    These tips are so good! Doing anything at home makes things so difficult. Having a schedule/routine does make things much easier!

    • annaelleliz September 20, 2020 at 7:31 pm

      The temptation to just abandon a call or class and head to the kitchen for a snack is too real! But you’re so right! Having a clear schedule/routine really helps. I find setting a timer (as annoying as that is) keeps me from getting to off track!

  • tisha September 17, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    This is perfect! Some of my nieces and nephews are homeschooling so this is great advice!

    • annaelleliz September 20, 2020 at 7:29 pm

      Aww, thank you so so much! Wishing them the best of luck with their virtual classes and homeschool classes!

  • Helen Claire Little September 17, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Some great tips here! This pandemic has got us all seeking new ways to do things we used to take for granted!

    • annaelleliz September 20, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      Right? I’m so never complaining about being in school again, lol! It’s such a shift realizing that the things you took for granted you really miss now!

  • Jordan September 17, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Love that quote in your cover image! We have been doing virtual school with our girls for the last few weeks and it is as hard as you might imagine to keep everyone on track and focused all together at home. Good tips!

    • annaelleliz September 20, 2020 at 7:23 pm

      All about getting in some mental exercise,😂. I have such a squirrel brain and during this pandemic, it’s just gotten worse so focusing and not being distracted is a TASK! I so so feel for you having to balance home life and multiple virtual learning. Thanks so much for checking out the post!

  • Marta September 16, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    I’m going to use these tips to help me work better! Thanks so much.

    • annaelleliz September 16, 2020 at 10:38 pm

      Who are you telling!? I’ve been trying to follow my own advice, lol, but it’s soooo hard! Woop woop for pandemic productivity, though!

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    About Anna Elle Liz

    Anna Elle Liz is a lifestyle blog dedicated to navigating our imperfectly perfect lives and everything in between one shared experience at a time! From college hacks and organization tips to fitness routines and musings on adulting, you'll find tons of relatable and engaging content delivered through honest story-telling and simple conversations! Read More

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