Most of the world has stood still, and many of us are working from home. As college students whether in graduate school or undergrad we have had our classes shifted online. Most of the group activities have halted, and social distancing is something we all must abide by and preach so as to save our dear ones. However, during this time, apart from online courses and a few chores around the house, many of us will find ourselves having more than the required time at hand.
In fact, while talking to a friend of mine, we were discussing the implications of this pandemic on students especially for those currently enrolled in high school. Honestly, when I was in school and got a holiday (irrespective of reason) it was still a leave from school. I didn’t feel like studying during that time! For students, this is just an extended summer break that started early and might just end up for the whole year! Many don’t have the option of online classes offered by the schools as many institutions have not made provisions for such changes.
This is when we need to realize how important education is, and that even though we are at home we have an abundance of resources available to us so that we do not fall back and remain productive. In this blog post, I have jotted down various activities that you can do in order to remain at the top of your game.
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1. Start by Organizing Yourself
Many of Working from home during the time of quarantine and social distancing the atmosphere can make us lethargic, and well, not wanting to do anything! The first step to getting work done is to organize yourself. For that, the following can be done:
Most people working from home stick to a simple formula. The bed is for rest and the desk is for work. If you stick particular corners of your house to particular tasks, it becomes easier to distinguish between tasks. Now, as students, we probably do not have space in our dorms (if you are still away from home), however, this can still work! Assign one part of your room to just work and your bed for leisure activities.
Make a timetable
Just as when we were in our physical classrooms and time had been assigned to us for different activities, we need to keep the game going. Planning and distributing time is the key to remain at the top of your game even when you are at home. You can have a look at an article I wrote to planning time. Although the article is to getting back on track to college, it applies simply to setting a time for yourself at home!
2. Do an Online Course
Most of us, being in college, probably already have provisions for this. Classes have become online and so have our projects. However, we should still invest some time (which we have in abundance right now) in developing some skills outside our field.
Various websites across the world wide web is now offering free courses. Udemy is one such website, that is offering a course on working remotely which you should definitely check out – Free Course – Best Practices for Working Remotely. They also have a great sale going on where Udemy courses are up to 75% off.
Some other platforms that provide great resources for online courses are:
- Coursera: Explore 1600+ online courses from top universities. Join Coursera today to learn data science, programming, business strategy, and more.
- edX: Get various courses on computing, engineering, science and much more.
For instance, I have taken up a short course on Linkedin Learning on Stocks. Being in college, you will probably have free access to Linkedin Learning (earlier known as Lynda.com). If not that, you could always try any of these platforms. In the article, I have written in detail about all the different online class platforms that you could sign up for (mostly FREE).
3. Brush up on your Writing Skills
Writing is one of the most important skills that a college student can have. An aptitude for writing goes a long way either into future studies or when you get a job. Having this free time is the perfect way to freshen up some of those writing skills.
Reading can be a great way to enhance your writing skills. You could read books related to your topics of interest or even browse the web for some great articles. Aldaily has a wide range of topics for you to choose from.
Once you have decided to brush up your writing skills, there should be a method to know whether the sentence structure or the grammar you have used is correct or not. To review your work you can send it to a friend or family who you know can help you out or you can use Grammarly.
Grammarly is a GREAT tool I use every day! It not only helps you with your spellings but also tells you what you have written is right or if you have structured the sentence correctly. What more? GRAMMARLY IS FREE TO GET STARTED WITH! You can create an account in second and link it to MS word, your emails and get right on track with all your college essays! If you already have Grammarly and want to know if you should get the premium or not, I would suggest you go through my article on Grammarly FREE VS PREMIUM.
4. Declutter your Digital Life
If you are anything like me, it is likely that you have that folder somewhere deep down filled with piles and piles of files that you have not seen in ages. Yes, now is the time to sort it out given that you have got more than enough time on hand. Now that you are working from home environment, you need to organize your desktop and emails.
To start off with decluttering your desktop you should start by creating 3 main folders:
- Gathering Box
This is a little trick I picked up from a course in did on Linkedin Learning. Organizing your items into different categories will help you find them easily and efficiently and will save you loads of time. If you are unsure of where the item goes, put it in your gathering box. You, however, should empty this gathering box and put it in the designated folder at least once a week.
The next digital item that you should look into decluttering is your email inbox. Most inboxes are filled with messages that you need to either filter out or archive.
One habit that I have acquired over the years is to filter out the emails into different categories and archive the ones I have read. The good thing about emails is that you can access it whenever you want by a simple search.
5. Start your Internship Applications
Another method to utilize your time is to start your applications for your internships if you haven’t already! Yes, during this time there might be lesser available avenues. But research is still on the rise. You could apply for a research internship. To get started check out the free resources on my webpage about internships.
6. Learn How to Code
Coding is an important skill to have for a college student. It can help you build an intuitive mind and can build up your problem-solving skillset. Coding has all the benefits attached to that of learning a new language. While you are working from home you can pick that computer and learn how to code along the way!
There are ample resources available online which you can use for free or at a very, VERY, small fee as discussed in point 2.
7. Budget the Future
Now that you are home, it is a good time to start looking at your finances. Make a budget of how much you want to save and spend. I have spoken in detail on how to make a budget plan where I talk about the essentials of budgeting.
8. Do some DIYs
Bring out the inner creative devil and start doing some DIYs to revamp your dorm. Whether it is making cards for your loved ones or making some cute bookmarks, you will get some great DIY ideas in my mini DIY series.
9. Burn Some Calories
Staying at home all day is an invitation to procrastination. Yet, we should not forget to take care of ourselves. Not leaving the house days at a stretch can reduce our productivity and can have bad effects on our health.
During this time of work from home, I usually prefer following up pre-built routines of workout. One of my favorite channels that I follow is fitnessblender. They provide great resources on healthy eating and fitness which can be followed by all age groups.
10. Take Some Time Out
Yes, taking some time out can go a long way and is more constructive than most activities. It can help you rejuvenate and make a plan of what is important. Spend some time with your family and connect with loved ones over video. Spend some time with yourself. You will realize how much of that you needed.
11. Learn How to Cook
It might come as a surprise to many of you, but quite a lot of students who stay away from family either rely on takeout or frozen food. Yes, you read that right. There are many students who either don’t have the time to cook or those who don’t know how to.
Use this time while working from home to ramp up your cooking skills. You can start by following some simple recipes online or call up the expert cooks in your family to get the ingredients (that’s how I started).
12. Learn How to Invest
Recently, I started reading the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. It is a book about financial understanding and investing. This took me a bit deeper into getting to know what stocks are. I am now working on a few courses on financial basics.
Throughout this process what I came to realize is how important it to know how to invest and the importance of financial planning. It is a skill I think each young individual should gain for a good financial future. I feel I am too late in the game but better late than never right?
I will also be writing a comprehensive article on basics of investing and some resources you can look into. Subscribe to my email list at the end of the page to get an update when it gets uploaded (and for many other surprises!)
13. Get Those Creative Juices Flowing
This is the perfect time to start working on that million-dollar idea! If you don’t have one how about come up with it? Utilize this time to the fullest and start acting on those ideas!
14. Catch Up on School
Its been almost 2 weeks since the Universities have been closed and more for many others. But this gives you the time to catch up on some of those assignments which are due or to clear some concepts that you did not understand.
Write to your GAs and your profs, they will probably be more than happy to help you out given that they too have more time at hand now!
15. Get the Sleep you Were Lagging
For most of us, the season of midterms had just ended before all this began. Use your time at home to catch up on sleep. Just don’t overdo it such that you hear your mom screaming each day to wake you up!
16. Learn How to Do Your Taxes
For most of us, the end of the financial year is approaching, which means that many of us need to get our taxes done. Instead of hiring someone this year, you can use the time to do it yourself.
There are quite a lot of resources available online either on gov websites or just on basic google searches. Even if you hire someone to do the taxes for you, it is always wise to know how to do them so you don’t miss out on anything!
17. Help out with COVID19
As students in various fields, you can provide a helping hand to our healthcare workers. Various platforms are coming out and creating opportunities for engineers, students in STEM fields, in commerce or humanities to volunteer in the creation of PPE.
One such platform is Helpfulengineering. To be a part of the group you need not be an engineer. You can be from any field and help out in the cause. Visit their website for more information on how you can help!
18. Read, Read and Read More
With the age of videos and digital media, most of us have curbed the habit of reading. Reading has various benefits associated with it. It sparks up the imagination and cultivates the mind.
Whether it be articles on the internet, or just some book lurking around behind a cabinet of your house, pick up the habit and start reading again now that you are working from home. Spend one hour or even half, before going to bed on reading and you are sure to notice a positive uplift in your day. Try it! I have and it definitely worked for me!
My Kindle Paperwhite is one of my greatest prized possessions. I got it as a gift on my 21st birthday and have used it every day ever since! If you are a reading buff like me, it is an item I highly recommend! It is easily portable, lasts VERY long and honestly gives me the paper-like feel for sure!
If you don’t own a Kindle you can get access to thousands of books on Kindle for Android. It is a free app that you can sync across devices and read any time you want.
19. Start Listening to Podcasts
Podcasts are great to get information about various topics. Most of them are free or at a paid price at a small amount. I started listening to podcasts 3 years ago (yes I was quite late) but they have become a part of my everyday routine. I listen to podcasts during my walks from my lab to my house or while I am (or rather used to) walk across the riverside.
Ever since I started working from home I listen to podcasts during washing the dishes or around the house chores. Some of my favorite podcast channels on apple podcasts are:
20. Update your Resume
Sit down and jot all the work that you and completed or are completing since your last update to your Linkedin profile and your resume. It is now the time to sit and update your resume and put all the projects that you have been taking part in.
You can get a free template for a resume/CV on FREE RESOURCES library. Subscribe to the email list and get started today!
21. Do your Work From Home
Now, lastly, start working from home! Trust me, I know, it is difficult! I too had been slacking around but never the less we have to get back on track and keep our progress growing.
That is all for today! This is some time that can make or break your future. With many places and organizations shut down at during this hard time you should get up and start managing your future and take it back in your own hands!
If you learned something new from the article please let me know by commenting below or feel free to send me an email at email@example.com. I try to answer each and every email I receive and it is imperative for me that I help you out in the best way I can. I know how difficult it is during undergrad or even grad school as a matter of fact and I try to share everything I know with you so you can get on track and make the right choices when in college!
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Stay home and stay safe and keep working from home!