Students create personal workspaces and routines for virtual instruction


Durga Sritharan, a freshman in biology, uses her desk at home to work on classwork. She has created a wall of photos with her friends and family to create a less stressful environment. 

Morgan Laviolette

With the transition to virtual instruction, students have had to create their own workspaces and routines in their home to maintain social distancing.

The transition has impacted students in multiple ways. Many have moved back home to be with their families and practice social distancing. Finding an area to build a workspace that provides a distraction-free environment can be difficult with siblings, parents and more. Students are improvising with what they have to make the best of their situation.

“My personal workspace varies,” said Bryce Friederich, a junior in hospitality management. “I try to mix it up, so I do not get too bored in one spot. I try to study on my bed, in my living room or at my desk. Wherever I study, I try to have adequate lighting, it usually helps me focus.”

Durga Sritharan, a freshman in biology, has placed photos of her family and close friends in her workspace to create a calming and stress-free environment.

Friederich said he keeps up with a daily routine to complete tasks and stay on top of his schoolwork, lectures and meals.

“I try to wake up around 9 a.m. and shower, then make breakfast,” Friederich said. “After breakfast I try to check my emails and start my assignments. I usually work for two-to-three hours then make lunch. In the afternoon, I try to go on walks outside, especially since the weather has been so nice recently.”

Sritharan sticks to a weekly schedule rather than a daily routine. She works on classwork during the scheduled time it was before the switch to online.

“By doing it this way, I have allotted breaks in between classes,” Sritharan said. “Sometimes I will finish earlier in the day if I decide to skip a few breaks and schedule more free time for myself later. This encourages me to keep a balance between staying on top of pre-med coursework and taking up hobbies, such as singing and baking.”

Brea McNeil, a sophomore in event management, prioritizes her to-do list each day to ensure academics remain a priority.

“I personally do my homework as soon as possible in the day,” McNeil said. “Otherwise, I won’t start it until it’s almost due at night.”

Students are constantly changing their routines to best fit their personal situations at home. Some have found things that really work for them, while others are still testing things out.

“For other students, I recommend making set times throughout your week for different courses,” Friederich said. “For example, for my Accounting 284 class, I use the previously scheduled lecture time to watch the lecture videos and take notes. This helps me stay on top of things.”

McNeil said she misses the atmosphere in Ames and getting to be with her friends on a daily basis, but she is glad to be home with her family.

“For me, I try to see the best in every situation, so this has been mostly in between positive and negative for me,” Friederich said. “I miss seeing all my friends and family, but hopefully through our social distancing we can flatten the curve soon.”