How to Stay Grounded During Second Semester

Virtual academy has not only changed the way students learn, but it has also damaged students ability to retain and apply information. During the second semester, it is important not to give up and continue working hard. (Photo courtesy of Lyric Chassin)

Before COVID, the second semester of the school year marked a fresh start in classes, people, and experiences. Now, with the absence of the face-to-face interaction and the continuation of entirely virtual classes, the second semester is seemingly an extension of the struggle to learn and grow in school.

As students, we can’t control what is going on in the world and the environment we are forced to learn in, but we can adapt to the situation at hand to better ourselves. Virtual school days may seem repetitive and could lead you to give up and lose any work ethic that contributes to your success. Here are some tips and guidelines to stay grounded in school work and life during the second semester of virtual schooling. 

1 Setting Limits

With each class 70 minutes, the time that students spend staring at a screen is increasing everyday. When they aren’t on devices for school, they are watching television, scrolling through social media, etc. Not only does all this screen time contribute to eye damage and worsening vision, it can make it harder to focus and rest when you need to. Your eyes can get tired and strained from staring at the screen, making it even more difficult to pay attention. 

To help combat this problem, setting screen time limits is extremely important. Being aware of how much time you are spending on electronic devices can help you to set guidelines. Another thing you can do is take breaks from screens during the 5 minute gaps between classes, giving your eyes the little spurts of rest can help with your focus as the day progresses. Another helpful thing to keep your eyes safe and maintain your focus is the wearing of blue light glasses. Blue light glasses block out damaging light from screens that can end up being fatal after much exposure.

2. Avoiding Distractions

Last semester, many students admitted to spending the majority of their class time on their phone or even sleeping. Setting up an area where you can stay focused is a key step in setting yourself up for success. Sitting upright in a quiet space makes it much easier to pay attention in class than you would laying in bed with your laptop resting on a pillow. Placing distractions like electronic devices you are not using for school out of reach and away from your perception also helps to keep your focus on the schoolwork at hand. Taking advantage of the live instruction time while you have it instead of wasting your time on your phone is beneficial for your grades and your learning.

3. Staying Positive

It’s extremely easy to get discouraged when faced with assignments during a time where the outcome of the future is unforeseeable. Any end goals or expectations you originally had set for yourself may seem pointless in the midst of all the chaos of the world. Instead of using this uncertainty as an excuse to procrastinate, use it as a fuel to continue working hard. Have faith that your work means something and that it will benefit you in the future. Cherish the tiny victories like getting your homework done on time or an improved grade from a previous test. Even with all the negativity in the world, it is still possible to stay positive in your schoolwork.

4. Trying New Things

The routine of virtual school makes it feel like everyday is exactly the same. From Google Meets to Google Docs, there are no surprises or changes in the school day. With this being combined with the lack of interaction and excitement in the hours outside of school, it is very easy to become unmotivated and uninterested. One way to spice up your school day is to incorporate new methods of learning and studying. Not only do you get to try something new, but you are helping yourself learn in the process. Using new apps, new note taking techniques, or even playing study games with yourself or your classmates adds a new and refreshing feeling to the curriculum.

5. Accept Your Efforts

We are in the middle of a pandemic that has taken lives, destroyed livelihoods, and put the world on hold. Being able to get up everyday and put in any amount of effort in itself is an accomplishment. Recognize that you are doing your best and that will always be enough. Your strength is defined in your willpower not within your grades.

6. Reward Yourself

Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the fact that you deserve to be rewarded. Whether it’s a break, a snack, or just a little extra amount of sleep, anything that contributes to your mental stability is beneficial.


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