Category Archives: School/Uni/College

How to Ace Online University

With the lockdown seeming indefinite now, classes that had been postponed, are back in full force with their online counterparts. While we might not have as many scheduled online classes in a day as we had at university, the pressure has been undeniable there these days. I figure it is due to the fact that for most of us, the home environment is not at all what we would like a work environment to be – perhaps it is just not conducive with all the distractions around. Being a final year student, it has become my priority to stay on top of my classwork and self-study. So today, I’m going to share a few tips with you all, ones that have been helping me stay one step ahead, of this pressure that comes with the online university lifestyle!

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Regular sleep and exercise!

Regular Sleep and Exercise
Regular Sleep and Exercise

A healthy mind and a healthy body are so important at this time. The basic logic here is if you are not keeping well, how do you expect to stay on top of your game? I have been working out every day so that is really helping towards a regular sleeping time. Otherwise, I had hardly any physical activity during the day so I was not tired and couldn’t fall asleep at a decent hour. I would stay up with 3 or 4 am and it hampered me the next day, and so on. But ever since I have started to work out regularly, my sleeping has become so much better!

Have a planner and a daily schedule

Have a planner and a daily schedule
Have a planner and a daily schedule

A planner just makes life so much easier. For instance, the most obvious thing you can use it for, is to keep a note of your class schedule, so that you do not end up missing any. Moreover, it also helps you keep a track of your reading progress, assignment submission dates, etc. along the same lines, it also helps if you make a schedule for yourself. I like to get up early and help my mother with the household chores before I take a bath and get dressed and put on some makeup. This helps me psychologically and puts me in the study mindset. Acting as if it is a normal workday really helps. Here’s a link to buy the planner I use: 

Have a designated study/workspace

Have a designated study space
Have a designated study space

I cannot stress this enough. The mind is programmed in such a way that you will inevitably fall asleep if you work on your bed. Therefore, having a separate space and going to it regularly only to work, will condition your mind into automatically starting to work. Besides, posture plays a key role in this. If you’re leaning back and lazing about trying to work, chances are you probably will not be able to really concentrate. However, if you are sitting up straight, you will also be aware and less prone to daydreaming!

Take breaks

Take breaks
Take breaks

Breaks are really important to rejuvenate yourself. I have been using the Pomodoro technique for ages and find that it is really helpful. In this technique, schedule yourself to work for 25 minutes and after it is over, take a five-minute break. This is your first set, you could say. Do this three more times, so that you have done 4 sets in two hours. Take a half/one hour break now. I like to hydrate myself during these breaks. Despite the fact that most of us are at home, we often forget to drink enough water. Perhaps, going and chatting with your family members, or doing a couple of easy exercises will also be great.

Set deadlines for yourself

Set deadlines
Set deadlines

Deadlines really help me to actually get work done. When you know you have tons of time on your hands,  chances are, you will probably end up procrastinating. I usually set huge assignments in a 2/3 day schedule and work my way through well. This has worked for me. However, if this does not work for you, you can also try actually finishing the job at one go. The most important thing is, to separate the entire task into smaller ones and complete them one by one.

Make study groups

Make a study group
Make a study group

If you are a competitive person like me, or someone who is too laidback (this works either way), make a study group. I have one with two of my friends and we work well together. We set our goals for the day/week and work our way through slowly while sharing updates. In this way, if one of us actually slacks, the fact that you are accountable to the rest of your study buddies will make you want to finish your tasks. Most importantly, I would like to note here, that it is advisable to make study groups with only the classmates who you know will be serious and will not just laze about procrastinating. 

So these are a few short tips to make sure you ace your online classes. At the end of the day however, your own discipline and desire to ace are what will matter and push you. These will simply help propel you further, the main engine being your own will and determination. I hope these tips will help you.

You can also check out: How to read 250+ books a year!

Semester readings!

Hey guys, how’s it going? So I have a lot to share with you all today. Please bear with me.

I’m doing this new series of posts where I’m going to tell you about some things that have been affecting me – both positively and negatively. I am starting on a lighter note so I’m going to share a bit about myself today because I realise that there is a lot I haven’t told you all, I guess.

I’m currently pursuing my Bachelors degree in English Literature, with a minor in Psychology and Sociology as well as a diploma in French (I have no idea how I passed the last on though).

My favourite colour is green (I have got a serious obsession for emerald green!) I am very much of an ambivert so my socializing skills totally depend on my mood. Also, my sun sign is Leo, and my moon sign is Scorpio. I am very shy sometimes while during some other times, I shock my friends.

I have been a reader for as long as I can remember. I cannot recall the first book I ever read, or the first book I ever bought. Many of the people in my family are in the education sector – and so I guess it is no wonder that I grew up to be an avid reader along with the rest of my cousins.

Coming to the picture, today I am sharing these beautiful bookspines in bookstacks. These are the books that I shall be reading for classes this semester. Some are compulsory reads while others, I have picked up for extended reading. Can you spot any favourites?

I have three major papers – American Literature, Post-Colonial Literature and African Literature. I have two elective papers – Literature and Film (we watch films in this one!), and Modern American Literature.

Do tell me about your studies today. Are you a student, and if yes, of what? Or are those days far behind you and you are a full-time working individual now?


Considering the fact that school will be starting soon for me and most of my friends here in India, I thought why not do a back-to-school blog. I realize that school will probably not be opening for a lot of you guys now itself, but when the time comes, you can find this as a proper guide and that will be quite helpful. I hope.

Also, I have a pdf file that is a list and will definitely help you while shopping. I’ll link it here- back to school essentials list

So without further ado, I’d like to now start with the list in question.

Miscellaneous etc.

  1. Lunchbox- Since I’m a foodie, it’s no wonder that I’ve put this first. My lunchbox is a pretty lime green and pink combination. My brother actually got it for his last birthday and since we’ve never even opened the packaging, it’s obviously brand new. It also comes with its own set of a fork and spoon and another small container within in and is thus quite good.
  2. A water bottle- It’s quite common to find drinking water facilities all around campus but I do prefer to have my own source of hydration with me. And even when it’s close to empty, I can always fill it up in those drinking water facilities. The water bottle I bought is a pretty pink one, and I particularly love the shape of it. Also, I got it for 90 rupees INR.
  3. A school bag- This is up to you now, whatever you prefer. Although I would suggest going for quality and durability over the aesthetics. I got myself a tote- it’s very large inside and can even hold my laptop and water bottle. It’s a simple black because I wouldn’t be comfortable with any other bright colors. Also, I got it for 750 rupees INR. I also have a backpack which I got with the previous laptop I bought. It’s huge, has compartments for my laptop separately, as well as for water bottles, books etc.
  4. A purse/wallet- Decide very carefully on this one. Are you someone who prefers to carry just ash along with the student card and keys? Or are you all cards and keys? Depending on that, the size will differ. I would suggest Mimco purses with wristlets. As for me, I got mine on Amazon at 250 rupees INR.
  5. Umbrella- This is for those students who are currently experiencing rains or get too much sunlight. Again, opt for durability over designs. Also, try to get a dark colored one so that the light doesn’t come through. Mine is lavender on the outside but it’s black inside, so there’s no chance of light coming through.


  1. Pendrive- You’ll obviously need it.
  2. Power bank!
  3. A hard disk!
  4. An I-pod- In case you commute daily to and fro school in a bus/metro like I do.
  5. Headphone/ear buds- Of course.
  6. Laptop/Tablet
  7. Calculator.

Stationery etc.

  1. Pens- roller balls or gels, whichever you prefer. I personally prefer both at different times. In classes where you need to take fast notes, I’d advise you to take ball pens so it won’t smudge. Also, decide on the colors you want. I always used black (for headings), green (for sub headings and important lines) and blue (for normal text).
  2. Pencils- Mechanical or normal lead ones.
  3. Erasers
  4. Sharpeners
  5. Rulers- try to get a foldable one. It’s space saving.
  6. Highlighters- Some people prefer to have a set of whole colors, others don’t. I prefer the neon green, pink and orange. That’s it for me.
  7. Marker pen- Or Sharpies. For the stuff you might need to write on the surface of those assignment CDs or plastic covers on folders/binders.
  8. Post its/page flags/page markers- You know why.
  9. Cellotape
  10. Cellotape dispenser- Of course you can do without it, but I prefer using a Cellotape on a dispenser. I don’t like searching for the loose ends on them, otherwise.
  11. Scissors- A big one as well as a small one (to put in your pouch).
  12. Page cutter- For the times you can’t use scissors.
  13. Correction tape/gel- I use the gel, simply because I’ve never come across the tape version around here. I’m sure you’ll get them online.
  14. Gum/Glue- I use gums, strictly.
  15. Page clips.
  16. Stapler- and pins.
  17. A Pencil pouch- Decide on the type you would prefer. I bought one simple red one at 50rupees INR and another transparent one at 70 rupees INR. I support the transparent ones always. It saves time as you can see the thing you want and get it immediately without having to search about. Also, prefer to have a pouch that is not too big so that you’ll have to think about what you put in and thus reduce the chances for over-cluttering it.
  18. Geometry Box.
  19. Index cards- Especially if you’re taking a language class. I also used it for Biology (definitions) and Chemistry and Math (formulas).
  20. Copies- This I leave to you. I prefer one notebook per class and not at all being in favor of the multiple-subjects notebook. And I love the Classmate ones. I use both the single lined as well as plain paged ones.
  21. Plain sheets- For printer use. Also, for regular use, if you’re a kind of person who prefers pages instead of whole notebooks.
  22. Folders/stick files- For the loose sheets you might need to take to class on some days.
  23. Plastic folder bags- or the above-mentioned folders. I prefer this.
  24. Display files- For your certificates. Keeps the dust off and helpful when you need them for job/internship interviews.
  25. Binders- Simple ones with a plastic pocket on the front is good. Also, what would you prefer- three rings or four or simply 2?
  26. Page protectors- I used to put one at the first, in a binder, and I put in that subject’s syllabus and thus it was very good. Alternately, you can put in the timetables etc.
  27. Page punching machine- A single one is a must have and another one should be for your pages- the ones you need to put in your binders. Then again, if you have the multiple one, you won’t need a single one!
  28. A planner- This is the one thing I swear by! It doesn’t matter if you are in middle school, or high school or college or even UNI! Get one. There are lots of affordable and cheap ones in the market.
  29. A diary/journal- When you need to relieve yourself of all the frustration and stress, writing them down helps.
  30. A table calendar- I use one. Really helps.
  31. Display board- to be placed in front of your study table where you can put up important to-do’s as well as formulas and the periodic table.
  32. Push pins- If you have a display board, obviously.

Optional stuff.

  1. A few books- For the times you’ll need a break. For most people, I would suggest simple chick-lit stuff, but then again some would prefer books where you need to concentrate a lot. Choose by yourself.
  3. Table tray/storage box.
  4. A hand-fan- For when you need to stand in a queue or under the sun while the assembly is on.
  5. A small mirror.
  6. A small hairbrush/comb.
  7. Compact powder- If you get oily.
  8. Tissues!!
  9. Hand sanitizer.
  10. A small pouch

I’ve tried to add all of the things I think a student might need for a back to school shopping session. Please comment if you think I’ve missed something.

Also, follow for more of school related stuff that will soon be coming up.

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