Photo provided by Pxfuel under the Creative Commons License
Photo provided by Pxfuel under the Creative Commons License

Customing Your Virtual Classroom

October 14, 2020

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Turning your basement, bedroom, or even your kitchen into a learning environment may seem challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Sophomore Molly Pace turned her basement into a virtual classroom all with just a $20 investment. “I am able to be myself, be focused, and stay organized. I was able to set up the space to help me feel more comfortable,” she said. She accomplished this by painting her wall behind her desk, adding an area rug to match the wall, and some decorations to make her feel happy. She advises fellow students to “try to make the space more comfortable [and] personalize it so it reflects you and makes you happy.”

Personalizing your workspace can be fun and simple. Adding some paint, getting organizers, or personal belongings can make your space more interesting. For example, you could add pictures of your friends, a potted plant, your favorite coffee mug, or posters of your favorite movie. A space that makes you happy may even help you to concentrate and be more productive, regardless of location.

Even if you don’t have a designated workspace, you can still find a space that’s comfortable for you. Unlike Pace, sophomore Paul “Jay” Lyons decided to stay more comfortable and work from his bed for online school. “I choose not to work at my desk, which gets very cramped with all my stuff on it, to avoid being uncomfortable which causes me to get distracted,” he said. Lyons didn’t spend any money for his workspace; he instead uses organizers to keep the area around his bed clean. “I think it can be beneficial to students who don’t do as well in social situations and maybe get anxiety being around people. I think a personal workspace may relax them,” he said.

Sophomore Rory Dyke created a personal workspace for her little brother to help him with online school. Dyke’s brother is five-years-old and has trouble concentrating on a screen for hours each day. “I suggest something that little kids can fidget with to help them focus,” Dyke said. She spent $15 by adding a poster of her brother’s favorite show, an organizer, and some items to help him concentrate.

Personalizing your workspace doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. A quick trip to the Goodwill near Food Lion in Palmyra or to a store like 5 Below in Charlottesville can net you a homey look for little money. Whether you add a poster or a rug, always remember to decorate with what makes you happy so you have the best chance to make this year a good one, despite Covid.

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