Guide to being a remote student


Remote and in-person students on a zoom call.

Aylin Tepe, Staff Writer

With the world ever-changing due to the impact of COVID-19, students and teachers specifically, have learned to adapt to the new digital classroom. As someone who was in-person, then remote, then in-person again, before going back to remote, here’s my guide to being a full-fledged remote student. 

To be a remote student, you have to get into the headspace of either an office worker, or an artist, or try to find your peace in between the two. The office worker type student is more organized, a typical nine-to-fiver with their schedule all figured out. These students thrive once they are put into an environment where each day has a specific route, and are generally content under this circumstance. Artist-type students, on the other hand, are initially in the fog regarding all of these changes inflicted onto their day-to-day lifestyle. After all, it is near impossible to engage in witty banter or spread creativity through the shackles of a computer screen. Such individuals usually feel trapped and overburdened by the constant influx of assignments that flood their canvas page daily, however, these students do have several redeeming qualities. For instance, the extra time which would usually be taken up by clubs and sports can now be dedicated to a passion, or self-exploration, which is quite an unexpected privilege lockdown has granted.

Now, I have been on both sides of the spectrum and worked out a routine that suits me by experimenting with time management. I learned that to be a genuine, content, remote student, you have to wake up decently early. I know that this may seem pretty crappy to most, but I encourage you to bear with me. As someone who is prone to procrastination, I usually end up feeling really guilty after messing up my daily plan I had conjured up the night before. It is a vicious cycle of wasting time, feeling bad about it, promising to change the next day, and then repeating the same mistake over again. That was my life last March when quarantine first began. But I found that waking up early is kind of like a cheat code. By getting all of my procrastinatory instincts out of the way early in the day, I still have a bunch of time left that I am then able to dedicate to schoolwork or extracurriculars. It all works out and I satisfy both my feelings and feel fantastic after burning through homework. 

Next up on the list is what to do when you’re bored. Bodrum, where I’m from in Turkey,  has been under weekend quarantine since last May, and restaurants, schools, arcades, and anywhere else that people go for entertainment are under strict lockdown (for the sake of safety of course). Under these strict regulations, I found myself wasting away the hours, just scrolling through my phone or blankly staring at the ceiling. Like many, I felt as though I had missed out on the majority of my high school experience, which left me at a loss. This changed once I realized that I still had the chance to make this seemingly worthless year into an unforgettable experience. Beginning to pick up interests and reading all sorts of things helped put me back on track, and I felt more fulfilled than ever. Picking up hobbies you would never imagine getting interested in, reconnecting with old friends, and making new ones thanks to social media are all wonderful aspects of being a remote student. 

Finally and arguably most importantly, you have to create an environment in which you feel comfortable. Experimenting with new decorations and moving around your furniture will help rejuvenate your room, as well as possibly revitalizing your spirit. Your room, or wherever you prefer to hang out has to be a place in which you don’t mind spending the majority of your day, a haven of sorts. Even just placing a simple house plant can really lift the atmosphere and brighten your day! 

Remote learning is hard- there is no doubt about it. There might be times where you feel like it’s useless and hope to get back on campus as soon as possible, but making a few simple changes can really impact your life as a remote student for the better. Combining experimentation and research yields results that vary depending on the person, just by tweaking it a little each time, there will be times when everything lines up, resulting in moments where being a remote student feels like a blessing in disguise.