Being an online student is great, but there are unique challenges that may present themselves. Not to worry! Not only does Florida Virtual School have great resources, this list will help you be the best student you can be.
1. Learn How to Manage Your Time
Something great about online school is that you can do things at your own pace. However, for some, a structured schedule is extremely helpful as time blindness is the nemesis of procrastinators everywhere. It doesn’t have to be terribly strict, but giving yourself an allotted time for different tasks can be the difference between organization or chaos.
There are a couple different methods for this. One favorite among online students around the world is the Pomodoro technique. It’s simple:
Work for 25 minutes, then take a five minute break. Use this time to stretch, listen to a song, etc. These breaks give you something to look forward to while you work, which will motivate you to keep going! After repeating this four times, you can then take a 15-20 minute break. This is a great way to break up your workload and use your time effectively and in an organized manner, allowing you to not lose any time.
2. Make Lists
As someone who can be forgetful sometimes or is prone to accidentally neglecting certain classes, lists are a game-changer. Putting down all your assignments for the week is an effective way to condense your workload and make planning easier. There’s two ways to do this. Here’s how:
- Create a document and separate it into one section for each class. In each section, type out what you need to complete for that class that week. Then, you can add the total number of assignments for the week at the top of the page or in the header. Now, you can decide whether you want to print it out or just keep it open on your desktop. Both are fine choices, but printing it out allows you to highlight each assignment physically, which can be gratifying and motivate you to keep going!
- Another way to set up your tasks is an app. One all-time favorite is the Microsoft To Do app. You can create task lists by the day or create a general list which includes tasks you added for that day and others you want to long-term! Here is an example of what your task-list could look like for one day:
3. Have Your Own Designated Space to Work
Working on your bed or cozy on your couch may seem like a good idea, but let’s be honest. It’s so easy to fall asleep! I myself have fallen victim to the comfort a fluffy blanket provides. So what’s the solution? Have your own designated place to work! Not everyone can have a large desk and a modern gaming chair, but there’s always a way to make an area yours for school. If you can have a desk, that is perfect — but there are other great locations to study which may suit your needs even better.
For example, if you’re someone that loves nature or is outdoorsy in general, maybe sitting at a table on your patio outside works for you. That way you can study while still breathing fresh air and enjoying the clear blue Florida skies.
All in all, add your personal touch to your study area!
4. Avoid Distraction
Staying focused can be incredibly difficult. Getting distracted can be really easy for online students, too. Here are ways you can stay focused on what you need to be focused on:
- Wear earplugs or noise cancelling headphones. Sometimes, outside sound can be the most distracting thing of all. You don’t have to buy extremely expensive or luxurious headphones to help block out sound. Cheap foam earplugs do the trick and keep your wallet happy!
- Ask your family members or a friend to hold you accountable. Having a trusted friend or family member ensure you are not distracted or remind you to keep working if you seem to be drifting into thought can be useful if you find yourself easily distracted.
- Don’t touch your phone…I mean it! Checking what your favorite YouTuber has posted, how many likes your Instagram post has gotten, or just scrolling through TikTok “for a second” can easily eat up hours of your time.
5. Come Back Later
When you can’t seem to concentrate or keep working for the life of you, work on a different assignment or take a short break altogether and come back to it later. Use this time to refresh your mind, drink some water, take a breath of fresh air, or whatever “resets” you and helps you recharge.
In conclusion, being an online student (and an FLVS one at that) is incredibly fulfilling. You can achieve so much if you put your mind to it. But, it’s okay if you need a little help sometimes. We all do. While these tips are very useful, at the end of the day, if you are struggling, contact your teacher! Your FLVS teachers are here to help and you should not be afraid to reach out to them. Happy studying!