Six tips to assist you during Laurier’s first online semester

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Whether you’re going into your first or fourth year, this semester will be unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. 

It’s completely understandable to be worried about how you can succeed academically this term while still making time to take care of yourself — all while working from home. 

These six tips will hopefully help to reduce your academic stress and achieve a healthier work-life balance.

Make use of all of the academic resources that are available to you.

An extra helping hand from some of these services might help to lower your academic stress this term. 

Resources like Laurier’s Writing Services and the Math and Statistics Learning Support are continuing to offer their tutoring sessions online to help you make your assignments the best they can be. 

On the library’s website, you can book a session with a librarian to help you get started on those daunting research papers. And, the Accessible Learning Centre is always available to create any accommodations for long-term and short-term disabilities. 

Take a look at your program’s page on to see if you have access to any other resources specific to your major.

Get involved, virtually.

With classes now online, it will arguably be harder to meet people. Feeling like a part of a community is a very important part of university life, but there are still some ways to do that during the pandemic.

Many clubs will still be hosting their events online, and for first years, you can attend the online Campus Fest during O-Week to learn all about it. You could also join a group chat for some of your courses by asking around in the Facebook group for your graduating class. 

It might take a little more effort than before but making that effort will go a long way, because creating these connections will give you a valuable system of peer support to lean on.

Make a schedule, and make sure it’s reasonable.

We might not be physically going to class this term but sticking to a planned schedule will still help you keep all your tasks on track. If you plan out your goals for the day, you can feel as though you’re getting more accomplished. 

However, don’t beat yourself up if you find that you haven’t met all of your goals. Your schedule can be adjusted as you figure out what works for you in this drastically new way of learning. 

It’s important to make your goals reasonable and also to pencil in some scheduled downtime away from your work.

Do your schoolwork in a different place from where you typically relax.

You might find that you can be more productive if you separate your schoolwork and downtime spaces. Depending on the size of your living space, this might look a bit different for everyone. 

For example, if you normally watch Netflix in bed, then attend your Zoom lectures at your desk or in your kitchen — or really anywhere that isn’t your bed. 

If you make a conscious effort to work and relax in different spaces you’ll be able to focus on your work better while also being able to keep your work from invading your downtime. 

Give yourself a break.

When working from home it can be difficult to find a healthy work-life balance. It’s important to realize that just because we’re working from home doesn’t mean we have to be working all the time.

If you’re feeling stressed or burnt out, there’s no harm in taking some time to relax and find your balance again. And since this semester is so different from any other, we will understandably be encountering more feelings of stress and anxiety than usual. 

This is why making time for scheduled breaks is crucial, because if you make a habit of relaxing, you hopefully won’t run into as much burnout in the long run.

Take care of yourself physically, too.

Working from home can make it quite easy to slip into a habit of sitting around all day, but your body still deserves to get the attention it needs throughout this semester. 

A regular, healthy eating and sleep schedule will keep you feeling energized and a reasonable amount of exercise will release those much-needed endorphins. 

It can feel overwhelming to start integrating these practices into your daily routine, especially during stressful times like these, but even if you make the smallest effort it will do you a world of good. 

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