Maximize Your Virtual School Day: Tips to Help Your Thrive during Virtual-School


Virtual school may sound amazing: a few extra minutes of sleep, staying in sweatpants all day, and lots of free time. However, the lax ideas that virtual school creates may be extremely counterproductive. Even though school is partially taking place from home, tests still count the same amount, and the amount a grade influences your GPA has not changed. Therefore, a productive virtual school day is essential for success. A good morning routine, taking breaks, and exercise are some ways to make the most out of school from home. 

Morning Motivation and Shower Power: When there is no school to commute to, hitting the snooze button seems more appealing than ever. When your desk is five free from your bed, or your “classroom” is just down the stairs, it is very easy to just roll out of bed before a school day. But setting an alarm and taking a shower is the best way to motivate yourself for a virtual school day. By waking up around the same time on in-school and virtual days, your biological clock can regulate. Additionally, it is scientifically proven that a quick, cold shower in the morning will energize a person for his/her day. 

Dress for Comfort, Not for Bed: Being comfortable is important for focus, but make sure to change out of your pajamas before class. This change will allow your body to understand that it is time to work, not to sleep. Chief fashion critic from the Washington Post, Robin Givhan, explained that clothes create “chapters in your life,” and when you stop changing out of pajamas, “[The day] starts to blur into one big sort of muddled sentence.” Junior Emma Leighley shared that one way she stays motivated at home is by, “Getting out of bed fast, and changing out of [her] PJs to get ready for the day.” 

Breakfast Bonanza: A healthy breakfast is the key to a good day. Since you have more time in the morning during a virtual day, take a few minutes to have a nutritious breakfast that will power your body. Eggs and Greek yogurt are great choices; they are both high in protein and will keep you full throughout the day. 

Beneficial Breaks: Ten minutes in between classes seems like an invitation for naps and phone checks; however, using your time between classes wisely will set you up for success. First, take time to stretch and get your blood flowing, which maintains healthy blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. Without getting up for a few minutes in between classes, a lack of circulation can cause a lack of energy, excessive tiredness, and an inability to focus, according to Northern Illinois Vein Clinic. Another way to make the most of a break between classes is to work on homework. By getting work done throughout the day, you will have less things to stress about when the school day is done. 

Hydration Nation: Keep a water bottle on your desk! Staying hydrated during a school day is essential: Healthline explained, “Mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1-3%) can impair energy levels, impair mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance.” That sounds awful, right? The solution: make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after class. 

Focus For-Real: Dozing off becomes a lot easier when you are in the comfort of your own home. Still, grades count just as much for virtual school. Sophomore Ryan Benvenuto explained that she stays motivated and focused by “constantly reminding [herself] that grades and school are just as important even if [she is] not physically in a classroom.” She also shared her appreciation for the Lynbrook School District: “We are all trying, and we are doing our best as a community to make things somewhat normal.”

Essential Exercise: The breaks taken in between periods are not long enough to really exercise; therefore, it important to make sure to get physical activity in every day. Whether it is a short walk, a game outside, or a lengthy and intense workout, exercise will elevate your day. Mayo Clinic explains that regular physical activity will give a person more energy to tackle daily chores. Junior William Lai is a fully virtual student. He explained, “An intense short workout or a meditation session helps keep me focused.” Additionally, exercise helps a person fall asleep faster and get better, deeper sleep. Most importantly, exercise will improve your mood. It is proven that physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed, and less anxious. Exercising is a great natural escape from the stresses of virtual school. 

Good Vibes=Good Mindset: In order to do your work to the fullest potential, try doing your work in a clean and calm space. Psychology Today said that a decluttered workspace is energizing. Also, simple things like opening the blinds and cleaning up a bit will help achieve maximum focus. Leighley said, “Opening curtains for sunlight and windows for fresh air helps me focus.” Benvenuto explained that one way she stays focused is, by staying her own room with no other noise and concentrating on classes by treating it like an in-school day.

Virtual school is an adjustment but taking these tips and adding some of your own strategies will help you strive during this pandemic-stricken school year. By putting in the extra effort to normalize the day and stay focused, your mental health, physical health, and grades will improve. It is not easy, but school from home is feasible, and with these simple tips, you will be successful in no time!