Coronavirus has forced most of us to accept some pretty significant changes in our daily lives. Still, few are as seismic as the rapid shift to remote working and studying experiences. Students have seen themselves shuttled to virtual learning environments practically overnight, which can come with its learning curve. But there are plenty of advantages to learning remotely, just so long as you’re willing to adjust your habits and pick up some new ones to accommodate this unique learning style.

Be Accountable to Yourself

The one issue that new remote students most often struggle with is self-accountability. Without a designated classroom environment to promote good behavior, it can be challenging to stay on course and stick with the workload. This is an environment where making out a proper schedule can help. Begin by breaking out your syllabus and marking down any critical dates on the calendar. Then start chunking your workload into individual segments.

You’ll need to make time for all of your basic courses and work, and your schedule will likely change as you get further into your classes, but putting out a program for yourself is one of the most effective ways to stay on course even in a remote environment. Just be sure to keep checking back in, evaluating your progress, and adjusting your scheduling and methodology regularly.

Designate a Space for Class

The human mind craves routine, and it can understandably become confusing when different routines blur together. If the same living room couch you use to watch TV is also the center of your virtual classroom, you’re going to have a much harder time getting into the headspace of studying. The essential goal here is to carve out a physical space for your study periods and class time so that your head can get into a better frame of reference.

While the space available to you will affect how grand you can get with your room, you’ll want to create a distinct space just for work as effectively as you can. Try to keep it away from foot traffic and other loud noises if you find yourself easily distracted, and take the time to personalize the room. Making it feel like a place where you want to learn and work will go a long way towards getting you into the right habits. And always keep your eyes on the prize while in your study space. Several apps can help you deal with wandering browsing habits and focus all of your attention on the task at hand.

Make Sure to Stay Social

Succeeding in a classroom isn’t just about learning the materials. It’s also about learning how to work well with others. Whether you’re in middle school or pursuing a graduate degree, the connections we make along the way are essential. They can help us with our studies, provide a fresh new perspective on a problem we didn’t understand, and serve as a critical component in our growing professional network. Learning remotely shouldn’t mean having to give up that vital web of relationships with your peers.

It doesn’t have to. There are many ways to stay connected with each other in a remote learning environment, but whether you want to keep in touch with Facebook Messenger or Slack will depend on the nature of your class and your contact preferences. In either case, don’t let your relationships wither on the vine just because you’re not getting face-to-face time. Virtual study breaks and meet-ups can be nearly as effective as the real thing.