As we all rearrange our schedules and shift to working and studying from home, we need new resources and strategies to stay healthy and focused. Below, we offer you our best online resources and tips as students finish school and prepare US university applications at home.
Online Resources: During this unprecedented time, universities, museums, libraries and academic publishers have made resources publicly available which are usually behind a paywall or only for faculty. As you approach your assignments at home, A-List recommends you use these high-quality resources for the IB extended essay, and EPQ project, and your essay assignments that will now be factored into your official grades. In particular, JSTOR and Project Muse are extensive databases of scholarly articles and books which may provide first-rate material for your assignments. Public Books, an online magazine founded by professors from Columbia University and New York University, has compiled an extensive database of academic presses who have made their resources available for free. If you were concerned your assignments might suffer without access to a library, this database will bring much needed relief.
Using online resources to continue pursuing your interests is the focus of A-List’s recorded webinar Time Well Spent – Developing a Strong CV.
Independent Learning: Many of you are completing your course work at home. For most students, this is the first time they have had to manage their time and deadlines without the direct support of their teachers, tutors, and peers. Staying focused while trying to organise your time can be challenging. We recommend the following:
- Setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals is the best way to stay on track. Breaking down your long-term assignments and how much you need to accomplish in manageable chunks will help you feel in control and make your deadline.
- Your home is now your study place and you need to create an amenable environment. Before chefs begin work they prepare their “mise en place.” This means they bring together all the ingredients and prep materials before they cook. When you do your schoolwork from home, it’s important to set up your own scholarly mise en place. At your desk, make sure you have everything you need. Books, laptop (and charger), paper, pens. Prepping your desk will prevent you from breaking up your workflow and becoming distracted as you look for what you need.
- The average school day is broken up by walking to and from class, lunch, meetings for societies, and meetings with your tutor. Now that you are working at home, it is feasible to spend a solid 8 hours in front of the computer. No one can sustain that level of concentration and do good work. Create a schedule and create productive breaks—thirty minutes for a creative endeavour, a FaceTime chat with a friend, or a solo dance party. These breaks will help you concentrate in the long run.
A-List has academic coaches and mentors to help you put a study at home plan in place! Reach out to our Client Services Team to connect with a professional academic coach.
Maintaining Balance and Well-Being: This is a stressful time. It is understandable if you sometimes feel distracted and distressed. Though we want to help you accomplish your goals, putting pressure on yourself to do everything exactly the same during these unusual circumstances won’t make you feel better. We recommend the following strategies to deal with stress and anxiety:
- Develop a consistent routine: the global disruption can make it seem like a schedule isn’t important. However, having a consistent routine will help you feel more comfortable in your daily activities and provide some structure so you are not worried about what is next.
- Stay connected: though you cannot see your friends and enjoy your usual activities, technology provides new ways to stay connected. Hold a zoom dance party and let everyone contribute to a Spotify playlist! Use the Netflix Party Google Chrome extension to watch a movie with your friends.
- Be patient with yourself: acknowledge that things are different and your feelings are a normal and healthy reaction. Give yourself time and space to process what’s happening right now.