Transitioning to Online Learning

Almost all, if not all students have been transitioning to online classes. I know some people prefer online learning for its flexibility but for me, it’s been devastating. It’s okay to be upset about your classes moving online. For some of us college students, we attended a university because we wanted in-person learning for our degrees. We lived in the dorms to get away from home and live a social lifestyle with our friends. And before we knew it, we attended our last lectures and were asked to move out as soon as possible. We were asked to cancel our spring break trips and some of us didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to our classmates.

Taking online classes can be stressful – I know it has been for me! The biggest thing I have learned about online classes is self-discipline. You have to have self-discipline. And I am talking, if you weren’t a planner before, you will be now. I am going to give you a list of things that work for me as far as organizing my online classes and perhaps you can experiment with them to see what works for you!


  1. Task lists: Look at all of your classes, your Canvas calendar and your assignment due dates and write them down. Even consider color coding if you’re OCD or just like pens like I do. It is a great way to stay organized and on top of your assignments.
  2. Home Schedule: If at all possible, get your house on the same schedule. In my house, I have my sisters who are also making the transition to online classes. Our house has always been very loud and occupied which isn’t the environment that my dorm replicated so I proposed the idea of a house schedule. We have allotted hours in the day that we designate “quiet hours” where everyone can work on homework in a quiet space other than our rooms because sometimes it can be hard to focus in your bedroom.
  3. Focus on One Subject at a Time: It’s going to be tempting to want to do your schedule as it once was, 2-3 classes a day, but it is fairly difficult. At least from experience, it feels much more rewarding when you can check an entire subject off of your list. The satisfaction of completion will keep you motivated in a time like this.
  4. Communicate Your Needs: Please know that we all are making this unexpected transition online so if you are struggling, REACH OUT. Your professors are working extremely hard to make this transition as comfortable as possible so if you are experiencing problems with accessing their links or understanding an assignment, they will be glued to their laptops ready to help you. They are here to help you to ensure you will succeed. And chances are there are other students experiencing the same problems you are, so help each other out and be kind.
  5. Don’t Procrastinate and Stay Positive: At a time like this, this is the worst time to fall behind. I am someone who fears online classes because of my preference of face to face interaction AND my lack of self-discipline. It is so easy to fall behind but you have to motivate yourself and manage your time wisely. Perfect time to test your self-control and optimistic mindset! You can certainly do it!

It’s almost as if the world is testing us. Our strength. Our minds. Our abilities. Think of this virus as a sign, a sign to give yourself more time. If before this quarantine you had your plate full, I can imagine you are going stir crazy locked up. Take this quarantine as a sign to give back to yourself. Give yourself time to breathe and relax. I’ve neglected myself before by taking on too much and I can imagine some of you have in the past as well. Take this time to take care of you.

“Be okay with not knowing for sure what might come next, but know that whatever it is, you will be okay.”

Ciera L’Huillier is a freshman here at UW-Green Bay currently majoring in Communications. She would love to pursue something in writing, similar to digital journalism on a social media platform. Outside of school, Ciera works with kids at a before- and after-school program and loves to sing!