Hey SAIT students,
Welcome to the very first Learning From Home 101 blog post! In this post, we’ll be sharing with you 5 tips for setting yourself up for a successful start.
As post-secondary students ourselves once upon a time, we understand how easy it can be to think: I’ll skip the live presentation and just check out the PowerPoint when it’s uploaded later. This isn’t a good idea! You’re going to have a much easier and faster time learning when you give yourself the opportunity to be presented with everything, over trying to piece together incomplete bits and pieces of information, on your own time, later on. Additionally, if you make an excuse for yourself once to miss a class online, it’s going to make it that much easier to keep on making excuses and before you know it, you’ve missed every lecture and are struggling to catch up.
Even if you don’t have the luxury of a study room that’s separate from everything else and the only space you have is the 1 room you’re renting in a house with other students, dedicate the desk in your room as your space for learning and commit to it being just that. When you dedicate 1 space for learning, it’s going to be that much easier for you to get into the zone because, over time, your brain will know that this is the place you sit when you mean business. Secondly, by dedicating 1 space for learning, you’re creating a boundary between your academic and personal life. This is a good thing for the reason that we all have bad days in both, and this way, you will find it easier to leave academic stress at your desk and/or not take personal stressors to your learning station.
*Note: If you don’t own a desk, we’ve shared some ideas at the end of this blog post on how you can get one!
This can be anyone you know – a family member, a friend, or even the person you’re dating. For the best result, choose someone someone who you trust wants to see you succeed and that you can be an accountability buddy for in return. The idea is that your chosen person has your academic schedule and at the end of every day, even if just for 5 minutes, you tell them whether or not you made it to a class. If you did, you go on to share 1 thing you learned. If you didn’t, you explain why and how it could be avoided next time. And if you’re their accountability buddy, return the favour by being the one to listen.
If you know that you… – can’t help but check your phone for when it lights up/buzzes/rings to let you know of a new notification –> put your phone on airplane mode whilst you’re supposed to be learning/studying or leave it in another room entirely,
– have the tendency to have social tabs (e.g. Facebook) open on your laptop whilst you learning/studying –> download one of the many apps that allows you to block specific websites for a set amount of time.
The point is, it’s important to consider what distractions may arise along the way because they are a sure thing in life, and if you can prepare for them in advance, then not only are you going to be less stressed when they come up, but also able to bounce back faster.
Are you really getting up because you’re thirsty for a drink of something or because doing so gives you an excuse to check your phone for social media notifications? If you’re taking breaks as an excuse to get away from what you’re doing, you should try starting your day of learning with as much already prepared as possible (e.g. setting yourself a glass of whatever you like to drink, having snacks ready at your learning station, etc.). We’re not saying breaks, whether they be for the bathroom, snacks, drinks, or for your mental health are bad… because they’re not! All of those things are necessary and good for you. What we’re suggesting is to check that your intentions are actually in line with what you say they are.
*There’s lots of places where you can purchase yourself a brand new desk (e.g. Bed Bath and Beyond, Staples, Walmart, etc.). We recommend IKEA, solely based on it’s product and price range.
Alternatively for those on a tighter budget, free furniture such as desks go up on Calgary’s Kijiji all the time. Of course, keep in mind that a free desk probably isn’t going to be brand new and you’re likely going to be expected to pick it up from the seller’s home.