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In unprecedented times, students have found unprecedented studying spaces.

The world is changing, and with it comes a shift in the way we learn. These changes forced many students into new study spaces, at home and at school. Since March of last year, everything seems out of our control. Students can only make the best of the situations they’re given, and try our best to replicate an “average” school experience. 

Junior Alexa Magstadt took her time in the remote learning model to figure out what worked best for her. 

“My study space is all over the place,” Magstadt said. “I get bored if I stay in any one spot too long so I bounce around a lot from my desk to my floor to anywhere that I end up plopping. During in person school, I always used to study at my desk in my room. Now if I studied there all the time I’d spend my entire life alone in there. I really enjoy getting to study in a common area of the house where I can be in on whatever my family is doing.”

Junior Claire Moore, a student in the remote learning model, had trouble adapting her work space to learning from home. 

“I do my work in our home office because I’m the only one who really ever uses it,” Moore said. “I used to do homework in my living room, so it’s nice to have an actual office now. I can honestly say that my study space is not very clean or organized. Most of the time it’s an absolute mess and I will have papers lying everywhere.”

Magstadt moves around from day to day to switch up her learning environment, but she loves working at her breakfast bar in her kitchen. 

“My favorite part about this place is that I’m surrounded by windows so there’s a lot of natural light,” Magstadt said. “I also really love that my family is usually close by so I’m not just alone in my room. Unfortunately, this is also my least favorite part of this space because my family can be super loud and likes to crash my Webex calls.”

The pandemic disrupted many people’s school work systems. Prior to remote learning, Moore considered herself more organized and more responsible with a daily routine she could rely on. 

Design by+ Emma Mlivic
Design by+ Emma Mlivic
Design by+ Emma Mlivic

“I am definitely more organized in person,” Moore said. “In person forces me to keep going and keep a checklist of what I need to do so I don’t fall behind. When we switched from in person, especially with the long break from last school year, it was difficult getting into the groove of school again. I think it was a learning process for everyone because we were using new apps and programs but after a week or two I was doing pretty well.”

On the other hand, remote learning enabled some students, like Magstadt,  to have more control and more time to stay organized with their schoolwork. 

“I am definitely more organized in the remote learning model,” Magstadt said. “When I’m doing in person school I’m just living out of my backpack and my room looks like a tornado blew threw. With online school, I have time to keep things in my bookshelf and organize it all neatly.”

Before starting remote learning, Moore had concerns about what her study habits would turn into. 

“At first, I was worried that I was just letting everything slip by and I didn’t have much of a schedule, but now I’ve just learned to play it by ear without being organized,” Moore said. “When I am back in person I know I’ll probably get back into my old antics of organizing with scheduling and homework.”

At the end of the day, the pandemic changed the way everyone operates. Students have different methods of staying organized and having an effective study space in these unpredictable times. Looking at the way we learn now versus the way we learned before COVID-19, we know students have adjusted even if that shift hasn’t been easy. 

“Staying organized during remote learning is hard, but organization is a struggle in any mode of school,” Magstadt said. “I think the main thing in terms of organization is just having a consistent routine and a method that works for you. It definitely takes practice but with the right habits I think organization is possible in any situation.”