Now that Ireland has moved to a Level 5 lockdown, it can be even harder to stay motivated and keep on top of college or university work. Many students will be doing all their classes and work from their homes for the foreseeable future, but how can we get ourselves in the right mindset to focus on assignments from home?

Here are some of the easiest ways for you to stay motivated and on top of your assignments during lockdown.

Organise a good study space

Everyone has a different home environment so this one can be difficult, but if possible, try find a space dedicated to online classes and studying. Try keep it neat and tidy – this can help you feel calm and more in control when the time comes to start writing assignments or studying for exams. Make a timetable so that you can keep on top of your work and not allow class work to leak into your personal down time and vice versa. Easons is a go-to for some decently priced, reliable study supplies. Sometimes it can be inspiring to look at how others set up their study spaces, check out @emily_studies on Instagram; her notes will definitely make you want to get studying.

Another suggestion, albeit a bit strange at first, are YouTubers who do “Study With Me” videos. Many people say having them on as they work really does help them to stay focused, and in this weird world we’re living in in 2020, maybe they can help curb the loneliness we’re all experiencing to some degree.

Engage in your classes

While it can be anxiety-inducing to unmute your microphone and get involved in the beginning, asking questions and engaging with the material is a huge way to get into the right frame of mind for learning. Even though it’s online, you should still treat it like you would a normal lecture, and be on time, listen, ask questions, and generally get the most out of it. It will come in handy later on when it comes to doing assignments or exams if you actually paid attention.

Give yourself the best of both worlds and take advantage of being at home by making yourself something nice like an iced coffee to treat yo’self after a particularly productive class!

Talk to your classmates

Social interaction is what a lot of us are missing from the college experience this year, so it’s important to try and mimic that as much as possible. Make a class group chat or message friends individually. Talking to your college friends, be it about college or anything else, will give you a sense of normality and a boost to get on with your work.

The online game Among Us is really popular right now and a great way to have fun with your friends!

Take breaks

If you try to sit at your computer for hours at a time, you’re going to burn out and end up falling behind due to simply being sick of looking at a screen. Remember that in a normal setting, your college day is broken up by things like lunch breaks and commutes, and no one can learn if they don’t have a break every once in a while. Remember to switch off every so often and not overwork yourself. Go for a walk or watch something fun on Netflix – Emily in Paris is the ultimate lighthearted, easy-watching show if you need a break right now.

Reach out

In such uncertain times, and as winter approaches, it’s naturally easy to just lose your drive and fall behind. If this happens, reach out to someone who you can trust and explain how you’ve been feeling. Once you share your feelings with someone, you can start making a plan of how to get back on top of things. Get in touch with your college lecturers and explain what’s been going on to them, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you catch up. Just because we’re apart, doesn’t mean we need to be alone. If you’re feeling low, get in touch with Pieta House on (01) 6010000, Jigsaw on (01) 472 7010 or, which has a huge range of advice on anything that might be stressing you out.

Let us know what helps you to stay motivated during lockdown so that we can add it to the list!