How to be a Successful Johnny Back at Home


Having an organized workspace will help you stay productive and focused during a class or while you study. PHOTO COURTESY/PEXELS PIXABAY

COVID-19 has swooped the nation’s televisions, health and stress of students. St. John’s took action to close the university and convert the spring semester into an online classroom on Mar. 16. As we students have learned, it is not easy to take classes online that are not meant to be online. However, as the severity of the virus grows, we must adapt. Regardless, adapting to home life, a normal routine and online courses may require some advice. Below find all the tips and tricks you may need as we close out the spring semester. 

Firstly,  while we are not at school, maintaining your routine to the best of your abilities is imperative. Of course there will be some bumps, like no longer sleeping in a dorm room or eating at the D’Angelo Center. The main routine items to keep in check are your sleep and class schedules. It will be tempting to stay up until the middle of the night or “miss” your 9 a.m. online class, but refraining from these habits is best. Giving in to those bad habits will set your mind into something similar to “summer mode” but like it or not, it is still spring. Getting a full 8 hours of sleep is ideal, but if that was impossible even at school, then try the best you can at home. Not everyone’s classes have gone full Zoom mode, but being awake and in work mode during your normal class times will keep you productive. 

Productivity is another bump in the road when things like your bed, dog, Netflix or TikTok can distract you without a teacher telling you to focus. The good thing is that with classes online, and some not occurring at their normal times, students who may struggle sitting at a desk for long periods can create the classroom they want. Creating a schedule for the week and sticking to it will help these habits become habitual. 

Above all else, the main way to succeed in online classes is having a proper workspace. While it is tempting to bring your computer to bed with you, your mind moves into relaxation mode rather than work mode. If you have a desk, use it, but make it your own. If it is cluttered, make it uncluttered. If it is too dark, get a lamp. If it needs supplies like pens, paper and a laptop charger, add them. Your workspace reflects your headspace. An organized workspace may result in an organized mind. But hey, if a desk is not your thing, no worries. Just jump for something more studious, less comfortable.

Just remember you still deserve time to relax. This time is stressful not only because of online classes, but also because we are in the middle of a pandemic. Anxieties are high. Remember to schedule time for yourself to relax and unwind. This can be done by taking a nap, watching a couple episodes of a TV show or having a snack. Your health is really important during this time, and mental health is a big part of that as well. 

So, don’t feel bad about taking breaks because they are necessary for success as well. Going outside or exercising is another great way to reset your mind. Getting vitamin D in or getting your endorphins going will make you feel better inside and out. But with these relaxation periods comes with a great deal of reliability on yourself to get back to work when it is time to do so. Keeping your phone on do not disturb or away from your workspace is a good way to refocus. 

Virtual classrooms are our new reality. Creating a setting and schedule that works best for you will help you be successful. Take advantage of the new control you have over your classroom and work setting and remember –focus, relax, repeat.