5 tips to succeed in online classes

Alex Hanks, Opinion Editor

  • Have a designated work area.

Many of you had your residency uprooted and were forced to move back in with family at a moment’s notice. The area where you spent most of your time studying has ceased to exist, and you will now be doing 100% of your coursework in a different setting. If you are returning to a household like the one I grew up in, it can be difficult to adapt to doing schoolwork in an environment encapsulated by barking dogs, slamming cabinets and televisions blaring in the other room. It is critical to have a spot designated exclusively for schoolwork, one where distractions can be minimized or diminished completely. Leave this space free of gaming systems, social media and any other distractors. This will be your classroom for the time being.


  • Utilize UTSA’s remaining resources. 

Many of us were dependent on reserve textbooks at the JPL, or we shared a book with a peer. You may be panicking because you are going back home without the books you need to successfully complete the class. Make use of UTSA’s library databases, as many of them have textbooks uploaded free of charge. Although it may be an older version of the book, professors may be willing to accommodate. If not, use your best judgment before you spend money on a new book with less than half of the semester remaining.


  • CTRL-F is your best friend.

I was a bit late to the party with this feature, and I wish I didn’t find it my senior year of college. CTRL-F on your computer’s keyboard allows you to search for specific words on e-books, websites and presentations. This will allow you to study efficiently, as you won’t have to turn through endless pages to find that one sentence you are looking for.


  • Normality is key.

Try to maintain similar routines from when you were in a traditional classroom setting. Wake up at a reasonable hour, and try to complete your work around the same times you did before the pandemic. If you had a 9:15 a.m. class, wake up around then, get through those modules and quizzes and take a nap. Most UTSA professors do not allow cell phone usage, so try and keep your phone out of reach as much as possible while you complete work.


  • Organization is comforting.

A UTSA classroom does not have twelve empty water bottles and seven glasses under the desk. Clean your room — it will make an incredible difference not only in your studies but also with your overall mental health. Your room is your classroom now, so cleanliness will go a long way. Your mind will be at ease knowing you aren’t being smothered by clutter as you try to ace that quiz.