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Student Hacks For Learning At H.O.M.E.

Our newsfeeds are dominated with articles about how to effectively work and learn at home. I’ve taken the best ones, configured them for students, and summarized them here. There’s a mnemonic, well because, I’m faculty and I can’t help myself.

H: Have breakfast before looking at your phone or laptop. Ok, glance at it, but don’t read/scroll on your device while you’re eating. Enjoy the food. Taste the food. Think about the day ahead. Greet your family. Open the door to get a breath of fresh air. Not a breakfast eater? Try this for a week and see how your brain and body respond to having fuel before knowledge. You just may be surprised.

O: Organize your space. Find a space that’s yours. Ask your family for some private time. Figure out which times of day are the most quiet, and do the hardest work then. Arrange pillows and pictures and blankets and highlighters and chargers. Make this space as unique as you to boost your spirits when eyes wander.

M: Manage your breaks. Experts say that we should be working in shorter time chunks than if we were physically away from home. Pick 30 minutes or 45 minutes to do some work. Set a timer and during this time: shut off notifications, close email tabs, and allow yourself to focus because you know there’s an end time. When the timer goes off, treat yourself to 5-10 minutes of something: social media, stretching, pushups, petting pets, walk around the block. It’s amazing how this type of structure helps with productivity and efficiency.

E: End the working day. Actually close the laptop. Do something else during the time that would have been your commute time. Start dinner. Play an instrument. Journal. Read anything non-pharmacy. It’s ok to do more studying later in the evening if that’s when you learn best, but make sure there’s a break in between ‘day’ and ‘night.’

Bonus tip: I heard this on a podcast and I’m going to do this every night: write out your schedule/plan the night before. Yes, we all have calendars that tell us what’s next but this is different. Write out: time you’ll be waking up, which subject you will tackle 1st, 2nd, etc, times of your classes, quizzes, workshops, and time for exercise and facetime.

I’m going to try these all myself this week – let’s keep each other accountable and let me know how this goes for you.


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