So you’ve registered for a full semester of online courses. Your next step is to prepare your living space to accommodate your new routine! It’s important to set personal boundaries in your living space. These boundaries allow you to live and learn in the same place. Checkout these five suggestions on how to equip your living space to accommodate yourself and your upcoming courses.
DESIGNATE A WORKSPACE - Whether you are living in your family home or are back here in Lennoxville, it is important to have spaces designated for you to attend class and complete your work. You can mentally assign areas in your space as learning locations. If you are able to use different spaces in your environment for separate activities, do so. When you physically leave your workspace, your unconscious mind can also leave your work and relax. Remember that your mental and physical health are of the utmost importance.
SOAK UP THE SUN - If you are working at a desk, kitchen table, or coffee table try and locate it near a window that gets a lot of natural light. Not only will the sun coming in your window brighten your day, there will be different things to look at throughout your study sessions like birds, people walking, or even the weather changing as we live in one of the most diverse countries for seasons. If sitting by a bright window is not an option, you can always look into using one of the Library Learning Commons Happy Lights if you choose to work in the LLC, or purchase one for yourself. Soak up the vitamin D when you can while in class and studying.
ROLL UP IN A SUPPORTIVE CHAIR - Get yourself a comfortable chair. We are all guilty of slouching over our keyboards which could be partly due to a desk chair that lacks support. One good place to look for affordable and comfortable desk chairs is Ikea and sometimes you can even find a good one on Facebook Marketplace that is gently used and perfect for your needs. If you are doing a full time course load this semester you will be spending many hours at your workstation, you should make the effort to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Also, don’t forget to get up and stretch your body during long stints of working on the computer.
GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR COFFEE - Treat yourself a little for those early morning classes and late night study sessions with a custom coffee or tea station! If you need a caffeine boost in the morning, make it something special that you can look forward to. Try using a funky mug or buying fancy coffee beans to spruce up your routine. If Starbucks was your thing before Covid, try looking up recipes on Pinterest to make your own gourmet drinks, and save money at the same time! Incorporating this as a positive aspect of your morning routine can kick start your day on a good note.
DECK OUT YOUR DESK - Finally, try to decorate your learning space to your individual taste. It can be as easy as placing a couple of plants on your desk, some framed photos, or candles that you can light to bring serenity to your work space. These small decorations can be changed frequently by printing multiple photos at the beginning of the year to switch out in your frames or rotating where your plants rest in your room. Along with decorating your desk, make sure you have all the supplies you will need to participate in class and complete your work such as: textbooks (we suggest using physical copies of your textbooks to help with screen fatigue), pens, notebooks, headphones, and of course your computer.
Although we may feel that we have no control of how this semester is going to play out, let’s take control of the things we can to improve our learning environments. Try to keep a positive outlook for the months to come. Following these five simple steps can help you start out on the right foot before classes even start.
- Alisha Winter