A few weeks ago, an article (and then a few more) was published about how parents were not homeschooling or online schooling, they were crisis schooling. These articles then explained what crisis schooling was: immediately going into survival mode either online or via schoolwork packets to get children where they needed to be, academically. Since schools could no longer meet face-to-face, parents were thrown into the world of virtual everything, plus trying to learn the best ways to follow the teacher’s directions. As a parent, I can attest that I’m not homeschooling. I’m simply trying to get my children through in a crisis. Well, guess what student?
You’re crisis schooling too.
Take a moment to acknowledge that your world flipped upside down in an instant. You weren’t oriented into a world of online learning. Your professors didn’t get months to prep for this. You’ve been flailing about trying to keep up with online work and you may still be holding your head above water. You’ve been revising one daily schedule after another, trying to find what really works for you and your household. This is normal. This is expected. This is where we are. So, give yourself a break while you’re navigating this new reality in order to wrap this semester up. The way to do that is by looking at some positives (yes, there are some):
Do your work when you’re mentally alert. Unlike trying to sit through a 2-3 hour class after a long day of work, you now get to choose when you will complete your assignments. This is a gift. For some of you, assignment completion may be done in chunks throughout the day. For others, it may be early in the morning or late at night. You know when your mind is at its best, so work off of that knowledge.
Take time to get outside. Instead of waiting for a lunch break, get outside (even for 10 minutes) when you need it. There’s no one to monitor you like a child anymore. You know when you need a breather, so take it and enjoy it. As a matter of fact, take multiple breaks.
Take a day off. I can feel all professors side-eyeing me right now, but think about it. There’s more going on in your life at this moment than school. Take a day or ½ of a day without looking at the computer, reading an assignment, viewing a video, or writing a paper or response. Your brain, eyes, and fingers need a break. Everybody needs a break, so take yours (and don’t feel guilty about it). You might actually figure out the answer to that problem while you’re doing something other than working on the problem!
Revise your schedule, again. The way you map out your day is completely yours right now. The blessing in that is knowing that you can change it at any time. If the schedule you made for yourself last week was rough, change it for this week. You waited until 11pm to work on that assignment and it was a disaster? Pick a new time. The great thing about being online is that, behind the scenes, you get to troubleshoot and rearrange what works and what doesn’t work for you. You get to figure out the messiness of all of this and no one else will see it. Hooray!
As we continue to operate in our new normal, acknowledge that you are in a moment you might not get back again. You truly get to decide how you work and when you work. While change is hard, having some ounce of control over certain areas of our lives makes it bearable. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Keep moving forward and stay safe!