Follow these tips to survive online classes in different time zones


Photo Courtesy of Jakub Halun

A New Delhi street is filled with early afternoon traffic on Dec. 3, 2019. Some international students forced to move back home to places like India are struggling with the time zone difference.

By Sonal Singh, Staff Writer

So many things have changed in the past week — in all of our lives. For many of us, one major change has been moving back home to a different time zone, ranging anywhere from one hour behind Central Standard Time or 16.5 hours ahead. Below are some tips that might help lessen any confusion caused by the time difference.

First, keep your calendar updated with any due dates and all your classes. Despite your confidence in time conversion, there is nothing worse than waking up only to realize you missed an assignment. Setting reminders is the best way to make sure you do not accidentally miss out on something, especially since it will take some time before everyone can adjust to their new schedules.

Second, schedule time to study/work. When you have classes in the middle of the night, it can be easy to join a Zoom call and leave it at that. But like many of us already know, our classes usually take a lot more work than that. The best way to ensure you’re on top of everything is to put aside a few hours a week dedicated to studying. This will also prevent you from falling into a cycle of procrastination. Additionally, it will help you put in more effort as opposed to just putting in the bare minimum.

Next, do not wait for deadlines to approach. Considering all the things that can go wrong with technology and the confusion any time zone difference may create, it is best not to wait until the last minute. Working ahead will give you a sense of clarity and will also help you turn in quality work.

Additionally, keep in contact with your friends from class. This could be extremely helpful, especially if you make it a point to constantly remind each other of upcoming deadlines. Although you may not be working together, you’ll still have a sense of security knowing you can double-check when something was due.

Know that it is okay to reach out to your professors if you need help with something. Does your time zone make it difficult to attend lectures? Email your professor! Is an exam you need to take scheduled for the middle of the night? Email your professor! Our professors understand that this can be a difficult time for a lot of students, and as long as you honestly explain your situation to them, they will be open to helping you come up with alternatives.

Finally, the most important thing — make sure you take care of yourself. Whether that be getting enough sleep or eating well, it is important you take care of yourself amid this ongoing time of chaos. It can get difficult to manage things, but remember your health plays a big part in staying productive.

These are some ways I’ve been trying to manage my work, and I hope they help you better structure the remainder of the semester. With that in mind, make sure you stay home and stay safe! 

Sonal is a sophomore in Business. 

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