As the COVID-19 global crisis unfolds, people around the world are having to shift their routines and schedules to stay safe and socially distant. Marietta College has been no exception, and has moved all classes online for the remainder of the spring semester. Through platforms such as Moodle and Zoom, faculty are offering classes live, and tests are being proctored online.

“This has absolutely proven that the Pioneers at Marietta are a can-do group,” said Amanda Haney-Cech, Director of the Academic Resource Center. She pointed out that despite these changes, working remotely does have its benefits as well.

“The transitions between classes actually allow for the 10- to 15-minute break that doesn’t necessarily happen on campus,” she said. “That time is usually used traveling to the next classroom and setting up for the next class. Now, students and faculty have a few minutes to review.”

The being said, this situation still certainly presents challenges. It is understandable if students are struggling with routine changes during this time. Haney-Cech had some advice to give students.

How can students prepare a new study space in their home?

“Identify a space to be able to conduct academic activities. This space should be an area where students can dedicate time and focus to their readings, research, courses, review, and so forth. Spaces that can be distracting are discouraged, so if a student will be distracted in their bedroom by video games, TV, or even falling asleep — this is not ideal. Having a single space [for studying] helps set the stage for academic work to be completed.”

What suggestions do you have for students that are struggling with the online format?

“Students who may be struggling with the online format should reach out immediately to their faculty to seek support. Their professors are the best resource to address any course-specific challenges. Additionally, the Academic Resource Center staff are available to work with students through any challenges with the format. If it is a question specifically related to the technology, the ARC staff can help direct students to the right place. If it is more of a matter of things like staying motivated or studying via electronic delivery, then the staff can help walk through [these] issues. Tutors may also be helpful to review the material to look at things from a different perspective.”

How do you suggest students cope with these new distractions?

“Build a schedule to guide task management. Sticking to a daily routine of getting up at the same time, participating in classes as scheduled, eating meals at roughly the same time, and going to bed on schedule are all things that can help keep students driven to accomplish their goals. Use the gaps in time to plan for Netflix or FaceTime with a friend. Students should try to check the news once or twice a day to avoid getting overloaded or overwhelmed with the updates. Plan a walk with your dog or spend time curled up with the cat to help relieve some stress.”

Just because students are stuck at home doesn’t mean they aren’t prone to procrastination. Any tips for fighting it?

“Make a list! Create a to-do list of things that need to be accomplished, then look at ways to prioritize the work. Treat academics like a full-time 9-5 job, and try to get all the school work finished during the day. Talk to others about your goals and work you need to complete. It is helpful to have someone asking if you did the work, even if it might feel a bit annoying when they ask.”