Students blog

Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

Explore posts in other areas.

PreK-12Higher EducationProfessional

  • A college student sits cross-legged on the floor leaning against a white brick wall. She has a laptop in her lap and is reading content on the screen.

    Stay Focused and Motivated for Online Classes

    Stephen Chau

    Many students were new to online classes when colleges went to virtual classes last year. As we begin a new academic year, even students that are heading back to campus may still find themselves taking some of their classes online.

    Attending online classes can make it challenging for students to give their full attention. There can be many distractions, such as your bed, pets, family members or roommates, and electronic devices being at your disposal. All these things make it harder to keep focus, which in turns lowers your motivation and productivity. However, by creating a routine and forming habits, you can learn to become more focused. Here are three things you can do to help you stay focused and motivated while taking online classes.

    1. Have a study space
      The first step is to establish a dedicated area where you can study. Although it may feel comfortable to study in your bedroom, it is important to separate your studies and your relaxation areas. When you are in that dedicated study area, make sure that only school-related things are happening there. Creating a boundary between your “work” and “home” will bring you a sense of control in life and help lower your stress.
    2. Create a routine
      Establishing a daily routine can provide structure to your day. Writing down a rough list of your daily activities can help you stay on track with work and become time efficient. Set a time for yourself to wake up, get dressed, eat, study, work out, talk to friends & family members, and sleep. What may help is having a specific action to get ready to study. This can be anything like making a cup of tea or coffee, clearing out your work area, or doing a quick breathing exercise.
    3. Dress up
      This may seem insignificant but the clothes we wear actually impact our mood, behavior, attitude, and how we interact with others. Wearing clothes like pajamas may make you feel like you’re not really in a working mood, which can make you more vulnerable to distractions. Similar to having a dedicated study area, wearing different clothes for different activities sets clear boundaries between your roles of a student or a couch potato. Next time you have class, try waking up a bit earlier to get dressed up and observe how that affects your mood.

    Staying focused while studying is something that all students struggle with and doing so for online classes can be even more challenging. However, there are many things you can do to help you stay focused, but it requires patience, will-power, and habit forming. Hopefully these tips are useful for you and will help you stay on track while studying!

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog? If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started!

  • blog image alt text

    3 apps that can help college students thrive

    Stephen Chau

    Life as a college student can be overwhelming. There can be many concurrent assignments due that cause you to lose track of your work. You may find it difficult to focus when you could be checking social media instead. You continually push off a big project and wait until the day before it is due to finally start. Whether you’re on campus or studying virtually, college can be difficult when it feels like your workload is never ending. After trying many different organization tactics, I found three phone apps that can help me keep up with my hectic schedule.


    Forest is a great app that can help you stay focused on what you’re doing. Plant a virtual tree that grows bigger the longer you avoid using your phone. You can invite friends to grow the same tree to motivate each other to stay productive. You are rewarded with coins for every tree you plant, and these coins are spent on growing trees in real life! If you tend to spend too much time on your phone, this is the perfect app to give a try. 

    Google Calendar

    As college students, we get assigned so many big projects and assignments. Eventually, it becomes difficult to keep track of them all. Google Calendar is a phone app that can help you organize all of your responsibilities. On this app, you can include things such as your class schedule for the entire semester, important dates, assignments you need to complete, meetings to have to attend, and much more. It can really help with time management and aid you in completing tasks in the most efficient way. 

    Google Tasks

    Another great app for organizing all your duties is Google Tasks. It is equipped with task management features that can help you stay organized. When a task is added, you can link it to your Google Calendar. It has many useful features such as rearranging tasks in order of priority, adding details, adding emails, setting due dates, etc. It has a minimalistic and user-friendly layout that is very easy to use. If you’re looking for a to-do list that is linked to your calendar and email, this is the app for you. 

    With so many new trends and apps, students are finding more and more ways to procrastinate and stray from their responsibilities. However, the solution does not have to be to completely block yourself from technology. Phones and computers are great resources that can aid in a student’s school life. There are many apps that can enhance a student’s learning and education, rather than hinder it.