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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: https://amzn.to/2y4CD2R 

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!

Dear Juliet… A beautiful glimpse into love

Dear Juliet... A Beautiful Glimpse into Love

So this amazing collection of beautiful letters was recently published on the 1st of October, 2019 and I am so happy to have been able to read it. I absolutely love it!

Dear Juliet

So basically this is a collection of only a few of the thousands of letters that people all over the earth write to Juliet.

Yes, the Juliet of Verona. Juliet Capulet. Romeo’s Juliet. Juliet by Shakespeare.

The Juliet Club

If you didn’t know, there is even today the famous Juliet Club, where Juliet’s secretaries reply to all the letters sent to her. It was first started by Giulio Tamassia and a group of artists and scholars in 1972. Today, Giovanna Tamassia directs the club and upholds her father’s legacy. I personally never knew about this club until I saw the 2010 movie Letters to Juliet.

My letter of love

As I read these heartfelt outpouring of love, I realized how many forms of it there are today, which is not to imply that anyone is better or more powerful than the other. This emotion is all-encompassing and kind and caring and love loves to give. As I leafed through the pages, I was touched by the beautiful words – which were spontaneous and intuitive and emotional and some unrefined, but all, beautiful and touching.

I think this is a wonderful book we need to read, especially in present times when we humans seem to have forgotten what it is to love others, and to be kind to others. We have almost relegated this feeling to simply a romantic one, forgetting all the other versions of love that exist, like the love for a sibling, the love for an aging parent and the love for friends.

A visual saga

With scans of original letters sent to the club, in so many different languages, I was blown away by the feeling that the one emotion that binds us all to one another and to life in general, is that of love. We all may have busy lives and be participants in a cut-throat world but to love and be loved is a privilege that we all yearn for, deep inside.

I was very emotional by the time I finished reading this book and I do not think I will really rate or review this book because it was so cavernous a topic. But If I absolutely have to rate it, it will be an astounding 5/5 stars.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43387390-dear-juliet

Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/Dear-Juliet-Lovestruck-Lovelorn-Shakespeares/dp/1452170568/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1571491090&sr=8-4

Some other books you can check out if you liked this one:

  1. Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson
  2. Poets, Artists, Lovers by Mira Tudor
  3. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  4. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Finding Esme, by Suzanne Crowley, Unboxing

Twelve-year-old Esme’s life changes when she discovers dinosaur bones on her family’s peach farm in Texas.

Fans of Wendy Maas and Lynda Mullaly Hunt will love this perfectly pitched story about friendship, family, and loss from Suzanne Crowley, the acclaimed author of The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous.

After her grandfather died from a heart attack while driving his tractor, Esme has avoided returning to the spot where he lost his life. But when she follows her little brother, Bo, up the hill while chasing fireflies, she makes an incredible discovery—dinosaur bones peeking out from underneath the abandoned tractor.

Esme sees the bones as a message from her grandfather; a connection beyond the grave. But when word gets out that Peach Hollow Farm is hiding something valuable, reporters, researchers, and neighbors arrive in droves. Esme must find a way to understand who has her best interests at heart—especially as the memories of her grandfather begin to slip away.

So the things I found in this amazing box were:

  1. A beautiful turquoise coloured black ball-point pen, with Finding Esme inscribed in orange.
  2. Two amazing badges with the illustration from the book cover.
  3. A cute pin of the book cover!
  4. A soy candle, scented Peach, from Minneapolis Chandlery.
  5. Another soy candle, scented Fresh Cut Grass, from Minneapolis Chandlery, as well.
  6. A card from the author!
  7. Candies of course! Of various flavours as well!
  8. And last, but not the least, a beautiful hardcover edition of the book Finding Esme. And it was a signed copy as well!

I was absolutely delighted to unearth each item, just as Esme was, unearthing the dinosaur! I also loved reading this book, and my review is scheduled to be uploaded tomorrow evening in fact! So do click the follow button and like, to stay in tune to all my book reviews! But I also hope that you all will order your own copies as well! I totally loved reading this book!