Whether you’re a seasoned college student or a new applicant, most current students can probably agree on one thing—college life doesn’t look like it used to. Students at trade schools might find the challenges of social distancing particularly difficult, as they might have been expecting their educational path to involve plenty of hands-on, in-class time to meet new people or master their new trade.
While the shift to online learning can be challenging, we at Remington College don’t want you to feel discouraged. There are plenty of ways to get the most out of your virtual college experience during COVID-19. Here are a few of our best tips.
Create a designated workspace
You want your workspace to be inviting. You’re going to be spending a lot of time there, after all! Try to find an area to designate solely to your vocational school work. This could be in an extra room, at your desk or at a coffee shop. Make sure it’s comfortable and free of distractions. You want this to be somewhere you can be productive. Once you find your spot, keep it clean! Cluttered workspaces might make you feel overwhelmed.
Set work-only hours
When you’re attending a technical school from home, the lines between work and leisure can start to blur. Setting work-only hours can allow you to be focused and productive during your school time while keeping schoolwork out of your personal time. Making time to take breaks, get adequate sleep and eat meals will boost your mood, concentration and energy level in the long run.
Attending college during COVID-19 can feel isolating, especially if you’re spending a lot of time at home. To combat this, maintain your social interactions. Clubs are a great way to meet people with similar interests and make new friends, and they’re even going virtual. You might also reach out to your career school classmates offline, via a virtual event or chat group. This could help you forge connections and even get some support academically, perhaps through a study group. A bonus? Meeting new people is great for exercising soft skills you may need later in your career.
Use your school’s resources
Many vocational schools still have their resources available to students who are distance learning, whether they’re now virtual or on campus. This might include career services. Counselors can still connect with you virtually to review your resume, provide a mock interview or discuss your job search.1 There are even virtual career fairs and interview processes, and they might be able to connect you with an employer in your field.1 Look into the academic, technological, student services and career service resources at your school, and don’t be shy about reaching out.
Choose a hybrid program
Hybrid programs combine the social aspects of in-person learning with the flexibility of online courses. Students in a hybrid program might do much of their work online, diving into the theory and background information. Then, they might occasionally meet with instructors and peers in a socially distanced environment to apply some of those skills in a lab. Many trade schools like Remington College offer hybrid programs. If you’re unsure about starting school completely virtually, a hybrid program might offer you an option for the best of both worlds.
1 Employment is not guaranteed for students or graduates.