How can I make my FAMU apartment better for remote instruction?

I can definitely appreciate your concern in making your apartment better for elearning. Many people prefer to attend their lectures in person - when you moved into one of the apartments near FAMU, you likely chose it because of its proximity to your classes. Since, according to the State University System of Florida, "remote instruction will continue through the end of the Spring semester at each state university," Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University included, it's important to make sure your apartment is prepared to double as your classroom.

Fortunately, you've come to the right person. I have a lot of experience with remote instruction, and even graduated with my Masters degree in August after completing it entirely online. Here is what I would recommend to crush the rest of the semester at home:

  • Maintain a schedule. You may not need to wake up for Biology at 6 in the morning anymore, but you'll still want to make a schedule of when you plan to do work for each of your classes. Keep a record in your calendar or planner of when you will watch pre-recorded lectures, study key materials and work on any assignments. If you maintain a schedule, it can help put you in the right headspace to knock out your coursework, as well as keep you on top of your assignments. Try to plan your studying around when you're most focused, like after your morning coffee or your afternoon yoga session.
  • Get dressed. There's certainly no dress code in the student apartments near FAMU, so it may seem like you never have to change out of your pajamas. Be real with yourself though - when have you ever accomplished anything worthwhile while wearing your pajamas? Put yourself in a work mindset by putting on "real clothes," whether or not those include leggings, as well as showering, brushing your hair and teeth, etc. I would suggest reading this great piece from Teen Vogue that talks about the importance of getting dressed when working or studying from home, based on editors' experiences.
  • Make a dedicated work space. You may have worked from all over your FAMU apartment before your spring semester went totally online, but now is time to stake out a specific space for coursework. It doesn't need to be a desk and computer chair type deal - though that certainly can work - so long as it's a spot in your apartment where you feel comfortable and won't be easily distracted. Consider areas like your kitchen table or island as strong options, rather than your bed or the couch, as those spaces are more likely to get you "working" on a new Netflix release.
  • Host a virtual study group. Despite "social distancing" in your apartment, your remote instruction can still be social. If you would normally study with friends in one of the best apartments near FAMU or in a library on campus, you can still study together; you'll just need to get a little creative. Look into setting up a Google Hangout or a Zoom conference for you all to meet and talk through your coursework. It's the next best thing to meeting in person, and the virtual meeting can help keep you from feeling isolated while you're staying at home.

Obviously, FAMU apartments weren't designed to be classrooms, but you can make the most of the situation. By putting these tips to work, I know you can make your home work for your homework. Good luck, and go Rattlers!

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