Week One: Is Online Learning Stressing You Out?


Birdie McGee

Are you looking for some advice? Check out these tips to deal with the stress.

Birdie McGee, The Spartan Staff

Raise your hands. How many of you are feeling completely and totally stressed out during online learning?

If you raised your hand, don’t feel bad, I’m in the same boat. I have an absolutely rubbish time getting invested in class sometimes and even paying attention, and I know that I’m not the only one.

One of the more frustrating things about online learning, at least for me, is the lack of class participation. All my classes in the beginning felt like no one was on their computer and participating, and while this might have just been my classes and us not knowing each other, it made for a very hard online learning environment. It took going back to hybrid learning for the classes to feel at least a little less stiff with more of my classmates participating. I know that I participated in class more.

And now, we’re back to online learning. One might think that because some of my classmates got to know each other, we would participate more in class, but you would be wrong. It feels like the beginning of the year all over again: my teachers asking the class questions and everyone sitting there in silence not responding. Now, sure a few brave classmates actually speak up and answer the questions, but it often feels like no one is even in the class. Not to mention, all of the homework and schoolwork I get just seem to pile up and up, which makes it feel like I have absolutely no free time. Doherty Student Asia Holabeck states, “It’s hard to remember to get everything done.”

This isn’t the case for all of my classes, and hopefully isn’t the case for all of yours. But this feeling that we’re back where we started leads me right into my point: this is a very stressful time. I know most of you have probably already heard this about a dozen times from several different people and teachers, but I mean, it’s true. I’m stressed. And if you reflect on your feelings, I’m guessing you’re at least a little stressed too.

So, here are some of my suggestions for how to deal with stress, and more specifically if online learning is stressing you out.

My first suggestion is to take a deep breath. Granted some of you might be thinking that this isn’t really something to relieve your stress, and maybe it might not help any of you. But, if you’re so stressed that it’s beginning to overwhelm you, a nice deep breath always helps me, and so maybe it will help you.

My second suggestion is to start paying attention in your classes. Now, this might seem like it will make you more stressed, but I find that most of my stress about online learning is that I feel like I’m not really absorbing any of the material, and then when I get to the homework, I have no idea what it’s talking about because I wasn’t paying attention in class. So, to get myself to really pay attention to the class, I had to remove all distractions, which includes my phone. I find it much easier to pay attention in class when I set my phone just far enough away that I am not tempted to check it.

Another thing I did was clean up my workspace. When we were in hybrid learning, my workspace became an absolute wreck, and I was okay with that because I was only working there for two days out of the week, and the other two days I didn’t really have to deal with it. But now that we’re back online, I had to seriously evaluate where I was working. This meant that I had to clean up and organize the space that is basically my desk, because then I am not constantly rummaging around looking for that one assignment I did in class the other day.

My third suggestion is to not put off any of your homework. Now, I can admit, I’m guilty of this one, I think honestly most of us are. In my head, at least at first, if a teacher assigned me something on Tuesday and it isn’t due until Sunday, then I can put it off until Saturday and spend my afternoon playing video games. But then my procrastination backfired, because I was out and about all of Saturday and didn’t get any work done, and was left doing my homework that Sunday night instead of spending time with my family. So, this is where I have to urge you not to put off any of your homework. This varies person to person, because we all have very different schedules, but, with good time management, you can decrease your stress and make online learning much easier.

Onto my fourth point, which is using your class time wisely. This basically goes under the umbrella of time management and not putting off your homework. If a teacher lets you out early and you go and play video games rather than doing the assignment, you’re wasting your class time. While playing video games might not stress you out in the short term, late work and missing assignments because you were playing video games can. Freshman Lana King states, “Prioritize your work. If you let it pile up it’ll stress you out.”

My final point is to dedicate some time to yourself. You don’t have to just to do school, you can intermix things that you enjoy with schoolwork. For example, if you really like playing video games, once you get out of school you can play video games for an hour, and then proceed to work on your homework. It’s important to take care of yourself and spend time doing something you enjoy, in balance with school.

The most important thing to remember, is that you’ve got this. So, go out and enjoy life, even if it is socially distanced and a little hectic right now.