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How Students are Staying Productive and Studying for Finals at Home

Staying productive and keeping up with online classes can be hard to keep up with, especially while you’re at home and finals. Everything is so new to all of us students. I wanted to reach out to a few of my friends at UT and have them share what they’re doing to study for finals and staying busy and productive. 

...Bailey Ly, Sophomore, Public Relations Major

Finals can be tough! Now that I don’t have Hodges to help me out, it’s a harder time but I created my own study area. Every day I start my day by sitting at my dining room table in front of a huge window, pouring a cup of tea, putting in my AirPods, and starting my work. The natural lighting and the big open space really helps me stay focused. I block out the distractions of my mother cooking and my siblings playing Fortnite with silencing my phone and a good Spotify playlist!

Another big thing that keeps me organized while studying is my google calendar and my to-do list. My google calendar is my best friend! I schedule my Zoom meetings, work times, and study times. It really helps me stay on track and manage my time wisely. My to-do lists help remind me of what needs to be done and what’s due each day.

During my free time, I keep myself pretty busy with some fun projects and hobbies. I started some embroidery projects, working on my blog, helping my mom cook for family dinners, and enjoying the outside with my dog. 

...Noah Redmond, Senior, Business Major

When preparing for finals, I get ahead of the game by studying a little bit every day. In order to stay on track with classes, I keep up with my planner and set time away from my family and craziness in order to stay focused.  

I enjoy staying active whenever I get the chance. I get in a 30-minute workout and hour basketball game every day! I am also really intentional with how long I sleep and what I eat because being so close to your bed and fridge is very tempting! Puzzles, movies, walks, and binging the office is another thing I enjoy with my family. 

...Jaylin Witherspoon, Sophomore, Graphic Design Major

To feel more productive, I wake up early to get started on my day. I fight distractions by reminding myself that I have work to finish, taking walks to stay mentally healthy, and moving to different places in my house, that way I can avoid the coziness of my bed. 

Finding time to FaceTime people or reminding myself that there are more than four walls of my room, helps me reclaim some sort of normalcy. Staying motivated can be hard for all of us! It’s hard to find motivation for the simplest things. However, brushing my teeth and getting ready as I normally would make me feel like I have a purpose and that I must adhere to my responsibilities.

...Tammy Castany, Sophomore, Advertising Major

I make sure to keep my desktop organized in order to get everything done for class. It’s hard to not stay distracted at home filled with family but I manage this by staying in a noise-free zone with headphones.

Having a routine is great! Every day I wake up around 9 am and go on a bike ride to keep my energy up in order to stay productive for the rest of the day. I also started journaling more, this way I can share creative thoughts and drawings. By working on my writing and art I remember to stay in touch with the things that make me happy.

My family and I try our best to have one meal a day, watch movies, and play board games together. 

...Aly Demarco, Sophomore, Journalism Major

I like to stick with my normal study routine as if I’m still at school. I find it easier than trying to make a new routine. To stay focused, I find a quiet space and work with my family, that way we can keep each other on track. For managing distractions, I’ve been trying to establish my own space and keep my stuff organized. It helps with distractions to have a set study space. 

I really believe that it’s best to treat this time as a normal school day in order to maximize productivity. I wake up, do my skincare routine, and make my bed. Throughout the day I fit in a workout, take walks with my family, and stay connected with friends. This is a great and simple reminder that we aren’t alone right now. 

...Juliette Lapietra, Sophomore, Psychology

I find it best to stay away from my family in order to stay focused. What helps me stay focused and on task is continuing to write in my planner even when there’s not much to do. During my free time, I like to go on walks with my family and dogs, drive and listen to music, play board games, and watch or play jeopardy.


These students are doing a great job and everyone has their own routine and way! If you don’t have yours down, you’ll get it. You just got to figure out your groove and why not try some of the helpful tips these students are doing. This is all new for us but we got this!

Staying Productive in an Online Setting 

  1. Turn on notifications from Canvas and student emails so you’re constantly reminded should your professor email you. This will also help you remember when assignments are due.
  2. Do not work on your bed, go somewhere that is quiet and you can focus. 
  3. If lecture videos are provided, watch them and take notes
  4. Write down questions you may have to email your professor 
  5. Use night mode on your laptop, to avoid eye straining 
  6. Manage your time and stick to it
  7. Creating a calm workspace to keep you motivated 

April 20, 2020