November 30, 2020
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Vital Signs: Keys to success for studying during CovidD-19

By Anika Pruthi
Staff Writer

This is an extraordinarily challenging time for us all. In the absence of fall break, it can be overwhelming as you try to keep up with your assignments and prepare for your exams. Know that you are not alone, and that there are resources to help you succeed. Here are some tips to help guide you:

Manage your academic stress by focusing on one task for 30 minutes (Envato Elements).

Avoid multitasking

According to The New York Times, a 2014 study found that interruptions as brief as two to three seconds were enough to double the number of errors individuals make in an assigned task. In a remote setting, it can be easy to pull up social media while listening to a lecture video. Try to work for 30 minutes and then take a 10-minute break to help you focus and create a more structured schedule. A shift in your mindset from being efficient to being effective can transform your ability to be productive with your time. 

Stay motivated

As we get closer to the end of the semester, it can be challenging to stay engaged with work. Try to remember what you find interesting in your courses and find ways to encourage yourself to continue with assignments. It can be as simple as rewarding yourself with a pint of ice cream or a video call with friends to help destress. If you feel stressed, know that you can always talk to your advisor, family, friends, and/or take advantage of the College’s Mental Health Services to help alleviate stress. Taking breaks is also extremely important! Take advantage of the downtime you may have to step outside or destress before you have to regain your focus.

Tune out distractions

If you find yourself in a noisy environment, prepare a playlist to listen to while studying to cancel any background noise and focus. Experiment with different genres and see what works for you! It is also important to have an organized place to do work. If you chose to do your homework in the living room, it may be difficult to concentrate with the background noise, even with headphones. Consider setting up a study space in another room or designating an area in your own room!

Be kind to yourself

These are stressful times, so it can be difficult to remember that you are doing the best you can. It is okay to reconsider your academic or extracurricular commitments if it helps you stay balanced. Pace yourself with assignments and cut yourself some slack. Breathe in and breathe out. You’ve got this!

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