Keeping Up With Online Classes

I hate online classes. They’re hard to keep up with, and I don’t absorb as much material from lectures. Going to a physical lecture is a much better way for me to learn. Unfortunately, in light of recent events, I don’t have much of a choice. I hope that everyone has been staying safe and healthy and have been able to manage their work.

However, if you’re struggling, this might be the post for you. Over the past few weeks, I’ve given myself a strict structure to stick to. Although I don’t enjoy it, I’ve found that it works pretty well. I hope that some of my experiences might help you during this period, or maybe even in a future where you decide to take an online class!

Make sure you remember everything!

It’s easy to lose track of all the classes you’re taking, especially if they’re online. In-person classes are a lot easier to remember since you have to be in a different, physical environment. Online classes can be done anywhere at anytime and sometimes slip to the back of your mind.

In the first week of online classes, I missed several lectures—not because I was lazy, but because I completely forgot about them. I decided enough was enough and put this on my bedroom wall:

My courses for the rest of the semester. I put them on my wall so I’d remember to do everything for each class.

This piece of paper is in a place I constantly look at so I don’t forget about the things I need to do. At the end of every day, I go down my list and see if there’s anything I missed (I’m forgetful, so usually there is).

I’ve reached a point in the semester where I know when each homework and assignment for all of my classes is due. However, if you’re just starting out, it might be a good idea to write your deadlines as well—just in case!

Have a nice work environment.

I personally can’t study in a place where I don’t have a desk. I need a big enough space to work so I can use my laptop and my notebook at the same time.

My desk at my apartment.

Before spring break, my desk was super cluttered—I usually go to the library to finish assignments. When I learnt that I needed to work from home for the rest of the semester, I cleared everything off my desk. I’m now far more comfortable studying from home, and I don’t have to sift through piles of junk to find a pencil.

Additionally, studying or working from home is difficult for me because of all the distractions. It’s so easy to plop down on the couch and binge a couple of hours of The Office. To combat this urge, I only do my work at my desk—nowhere else in my apartment. By doing this, I force the idea that my desk is a work space into my head. I know that when I sit down, I should be doing coursework.

At the end of the day, this whole situation sucks. I want to see my friends, and I want to go to an actual class, and I want this all to be over. However, as of now, there’s not much that I can do about it, and I should just make the best out of what I have. Indeed, I have vastly improved my ability to work online and remotely—I guess that’s the silver lining! Again, I hope that everyone is staying healthy and safe, and that this will all be over soon.


Class of 2022
I grew up in Hong Kong, China, and I’ve come across the world to Illinois to major in Astronomy in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I’ve always thought outer space is super cool, and I love that I’m learning everything that I can about it at Illinois.

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