Greetings first years! practical classes on zoom. After a week of remote learning, it's understandable if you don’t feel totally enthused about it all - we’re all feeling a bit like this! This blog will consist of both practical tips for learning at home, and my personal advice on how to stay motivated as a performer during these difficult times.
General tips for working from home:
DRINK WATER - yeah yeah i know you’ve heard that 17 times today already, but here’s another reminder: most people are chronically dehydrated, so don’t be most people! It’s especially important to stay hydrated when you’re looking at a screen all day and can easily get tired and sleepy.
If your lecturer gives you a 10 minute break, don’t use that time to go on your phone and check all your various social media accounts, your eyeballs will thank you later!
Try not to wake up 5 minutes before a zoom class, you will just be tired and probably won't learn half as much as you would if you had a proper breakfast and maybe got out for a walk beforehand.
Get ready for your day! Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shower or get dressed! Pretend as if you really are going to college. As part of the drama degree we have to wear black for all of our practical classes, so during Lockdown 1, that was a really important part of getting set up for a day on zoom - putting on my college blacks! I would highly recommend this for any BATDS students reading this to get you in the zone for class!
If it is possible, try not to do classes from your bed. Working in the area you associate with sleep is not a good combo!
Move around, if it’s possible, don’t stay holed up in your bedroom all day, move location, spice it up a little!
I find it can be very easy to let your mind wander during a zoom lecture, especially theory/sitting down classes. Something that helps me keep focused during these types of classes is knitting! Knitting keeps my hands busy while allowing me to listen and actually pay more attention to what's going on in the class. Other ways of keeping active during a zoom are taking notes, if nothing else to keep yourself awake, doodling, asking questions etc.
Stay active! One of the things that has helped my peers stay active during the lockdowns, is prioritising getting outside for a walk or run every day. To hold ourselves accountable, and really push us to do this, we set up a challenge on the Nike Run Club app - to run/walk 80km in one month. This app lets you create challenges with your friends, so it becomes a sort of competition to see who gets to 80km first!
Tips and tricks to stay motivated and interested in your craft
This pandemic has been particularly difficult on performers and artists. We have watched on helplessly as our industries fall apart. This has been heartbreaking and discouraging for a lot of us. BUT we can’t go on feeling sorry for ourselves indefinitely - we don’t know how long this pandemic situation is going to last, that’s not something we can control. But we can control our attitude towards it, and find new and innovative ways to keep creating and keep doing the work as best we can, so that by the time we are able to perform live again with audiences (hard to imagine isn’t it?) we’ll be ready to hit the ground running!
Write down a list of reasons why you chose your course: it can sometimes be easy to forget why exactly you signed up for your course when the assignments and assessments start building up. This is particularly apparent when working from home and not having that social interaction with your peers each day. I invite you to sit down, and make a list of all the reasons you want to do this. This helps give a little perspective when things start getting stressful.
Make a plan of what you want to do post lockdown: Making a plan of what you would like to do career wise once this whole thing is over will help you to stay focused, and continue to learn and grow as a performer/musician. For me, I decided that I want to put on a self written play when theatres are open again. This dream has kept me going, and I have set myself the goal of writing 300 words everyday to keep myself working towards this goal.
So there are my tips and tricks for making remote learning a little easier, I hope they are of some help for you this semester. Oh, and one last tip: make sure to go easy on yourself this semester too, of course it is important to try and stay motivated and push yourself to do better, but it is also totally understandable if you are completely exhausted and disheartened by the challenges that this school year has brought. So don’t be too hard on yourself, we’ve made it through one semester we can make it through another!