If you’re heading back to school online, you might be unsure of what to do to prepare aside from making sure your school email is set up and your Zoom account is working. Even though your classroom might be a computer or tablet in your living room, bedroom, or kitchen, it’s still important to get ready to go back to class. It just might look a little different than you’re used to. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Set Up a Space

It might be tempting to attend virtual classes in bed, but it’s better if you create a dedicated school and study space. This could be your desk, your kitchen table, or anywhere that’s convenient for you. Having a space like a desk that you can leave set up for school is a plus, but designating a “classroom area” will help you stay on task (and awake!) even if you have to pack it all into your backpack at the end of the day.

Set Up Systems and Routines

Face-to-face classes push you through your day by keeping you moving from class to class and activity to activity, but when all of your classes happen in the same space, it can be easy to feel disconnected and even fall behind. To stay on top of things, know which systems work best for you. How will you take notes? In a note book or digitally? What do you do before a class? After? And set up routines to section off your day. How often do you get up and stretch? When is lunch? What do you do when you’re done with class for the day?

Keep Up with Your Schedule

Even though you might not have to go from one classroom to another during the day, keeping track of your schedule can keep things from getting monotonous. Use a planner or calendar system to plan out your study schedules and keeping track of Zoom meetings, tests, and other events. You’ll never forget a due date or be late to class!

Take Advantage of Your Resources

Virtual classes can be difficult! That means it’s important to know what resources are available to you and take advantage of them. Don’t be afraid to email your teachers, attend office hours, or even form or join virtual study groups with your classmates. Those extra steps can help you succeed.

Get Excited!

If you’re going back to school online, it might seem like you just have to crawl out of bed each day and maybe look decent enough to appear on a webcam, but that’s not necessarily true. Take the excitement you have each year about going back to school and embrace it this school year, too. Plan the perfect outfit for the first day (and every day!). Pack your backpack (it will help keep your study space organized). Text your friends, and find out what classes and teachers they have. All of the little details still matter.

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Veronica Good has been with Showstopper Magazine since 2016. When she isn't keeping you updated on the latest trends, she is at home with her many pets or probably playing The Sims 4. Veronica has a BA in English and an MA in writing from Coastal Carolina University. She is also a writer of fiction and poetry, and her work can be found in Archarios, Tempo, and Scapegoat.