Welcome to virtual learning! This semester has been quite the adjustment for all of us, but what I’ve found really helpful is to properly set up a workspace where you can take classes and do homework. My go-to space on campus used to be at a library or student center, but now I try to replicate that quiet and productive desk space in my own room.
Being productive: Having a comfortable, but not too comfortable, chair is important. In the past, I’ve tried to do my homework while in bed, and that just led to unexpected naps. So, sitting at a desk is key for staying awake during those long hours. Also, having all the required class materials at hand is necessary in order to stay focused. I like to keep a clean desk so there isn’t any distracting clutter. I only have notebooks, pens, sticky notes, and other supplies I need for class on my desk. I realized after my first week of virtual learning, having a backpack wasn’t essential but having all the school supplies within an arm’s reach away was crucial. One time, I spent half a class looking for a working pen before giving up to type my notes instead. But no more!
Being creative: The plus side of having an at-home work environment is making it your own. Think of it as a way to escape the bright fluorescents of school buildings and enter your sacred creative space. I’ve always liked the idea of having greenery in my room and plants are great for productivity and calmness. However, I’m not exceptional at keeping plants alive, so I try to keep my senses awake through bright visuals instead. I put postcards I’ve gotten from various art museums, tourist cities, friends and family on my wall to help brighten my day. I also have a few candles that I like to keep at my desk. I like lighting them as a nice way to treat myself after a long day of classes, or even just to have a relaxing scent in the room while I work on homework.
If you’re unable to set up a permanent workspace, consider making a little desk kit that you can unpack day-to-day. It can include whatever you may need, but some suggestions are a pencil case, notebook, a mini fake plant or a small thing that brightens your day. Happy studying :)
-Sam ECE ‘21