10 Tips to Help Students Adjust to Online Instruction

By Laura Cuneo, Director of Counseling

Although we are not physically at school right now, the Chaminade counseling team is still here to serve as a resource. Counselors will be available in the coming weeks to answer questions or concerns via email, or if you’d like, via a virtual meeting.  Please feel free to contact your counselor or the school therapist to request a time to meet, and they can help coordinate a confidential online meeting space.  

We understand that, given the global attention that COVID-19 has attracted, students may become anxious about both the virus itself and the new online academic program Chaminade is implementing. Moving to an online environment will have challenges, and it can feel isolating to students used to daily interactions with their peers. It is important to be reminded that countless students around the globe are having a similar experience – including their teachers. We hope that the tips below will help you find success in this new environment.

10 Tips from the Counseling Office to Help in the Adjustment Process as We Move Online Together:

1. Establish a routine.  Your teachers are working hard to keep everyone on a regular schedule. You can help things go smoothly by establishing your own routines for each day.  We suggest keeping a normal wake up and bedtime schedule.  Think of it like you are still “attending’ school even though you are not physically traveling to campus each day. 

2. Remember the importance of sleep for health and emotional well-being.

3. Schedule virtual social interactions.  We’re all in this together. Your classmates are very likely to have many of the same questions and concerns that you have right now.  Lean on one another and share your experiences.

4.  Fight the temptation to allow video games or binge-watching the latest Netflix special to consume hours of each day.  Instead, think about ways you can explore areas of interest (books, arts, new hobbies), delve deeper into your coursework, make time to exercise or spend quality time with loved ones.

5. Be sure to interact with your teacher and classmates even though you’re in a different setting. The key to success as we begin this new way of doing things is to stay informed.  Ask your teacher questions and participate as much as you can. Check your email regularly and remain diligent about updates and course content.

6. Evaluate your study methods now that you’ll be online. Consider getting together with other students in virtual study sessions, or even just in a conversation or chat about the course. The more you feel a part of the online experience, the better you’ll do.  

7. Remember that every unique situation brings with it new opportunities. Change can be good, and it can compel us to challenge ourselves in new ways that, in the end, promote our growth as individuals and as a community.  It is important to remain open, compassionate, and patient. 

8. Self-care and positive mental health are extremely important. Take this opportunity to examine how you currently care for yourself personally and spiritually. Use this time to reflect on ways you can grow in these areas, which, in turn, can make you a stronger and more focused student overall. 

9. Good time management will be crucial to your success as an online student. Take this opportunity to prioritize your work and establish (or re-establish) positive work habits. Distractions abound at home, so take care in recognizing these in advance and making changes as needed. Where will you do your online work?  What is distracting you that can be put away for the time being?  We want to see you set yourself up for success.

10. Reach out if you are in need of support during this time of uncertainty. Counselors, the school therapist, administrators, your teachers, and Campus Ministry are all here to support you!

Sources:   Challenge Success, NBC News

Some additional resources we recommend to support learning at home:
Schools Are Closing for Coronavirus. Now What?  – New York Times https://parenting.nytimes.com/preschooler/coronavirus-schools-lessons