During COVID, all education has moved from on-campus to online. Cosmetology school is no exception, with Cameo Beauty Academy’s robust curriculum being adjusted to suit off-campus learning to ensure social distance and safety for all our students. But it’s undeniable that with remote learning comes a number of new challenges. You’re in a new environment, it may not be ideal, and you don’t have teachers on hand to help keep your nose to the grindstone in the same way as you would while in the classroom. Here are some top tips to ensure that you are a successful cosmetology student even while learning from home.
1. Prime yourself.
First things first is to get in the right head-space for studying. We highly recommend starting your day with an energizing breakfast and getting dressed for the day--even if you aren't planning to leave the house. Your mind associates getting dressed with getting the day started and will put you in a more productive, go-get-’em frame of mind. If you usually start your day with a workout, make sure to keep it up. Anything to get you primed for a day of studying is your friend and will help you focus long-term.
2. Create the Atmosphere
This comes down to place and feel. Dedicate a place in your home for studying. Ideally, you want a place that is well lit, has a comfortable temperature and has good air circulation. Lack of light or air will leave you feeling worn out and stale much quicker, while learning in a sun-soaked, well ventilated room will keep you feeling refreshed, open and vitalized all day (just make sure the sun isn’t shining in your eyes). The room should also be somewhere where you can have privacy and quiet so you can focus. Interruptions are focus’s worst enemy--no surprise there.
Have a desk set and ready with everything you’ll need on hand so you don’t spend your day chasing down necessary items, whether that be computer chargers, pencils, or specialized equipment. Keep a jug or bottle of water on hand to stay hydrated, and healthy snacks to satisfy cravings while you work. If you focus better with music or ambient sounds playing, queue yourself a full playlist so you don’t get distracted searching for music mid-lesson. Lastly, and this may seem elementary, but it’s so important: make sure you have a comfortable chair. You’ll be sitting in it a good few hours a day while you learn. A good chair will encourage healthy posture habits and more importantly keep you from feeling sore and achy at the end of a day’s desk work.
3. Create a Study Schedule
“Eventually” is a fun way of saying “Never.” Set a time each day where you will sit down and learn. If your curriculum has a time set for classes to begin and end, then this has already been done for you, but if not, draw up a schedule that accounts for enough class hours for you to study (and don’t forget time to do homework!) It’s recommended to set this time in the morning, when you're at your sharpest and most refreshed, but if the afternoon is when you have the time, that will work just fine. Once you have set the time, respect it and dedicate it to your learning. This can be really tough to do at first, but gets easier once you are in the habit. If you are one of many who can get very distracted by the internet during your study hours, download an app or browser extension that helps you stay focused, by blacklisting common distraction websites like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram during your hours of study. Some apps created specifically for this purpose, like Forest, even reward you for your efforts after a day of no distractions, as well as actively discourage you from starting from your work.
4. Give Yourself Breaks
This one is VITAL. Human beings were not created to plug away for hours at a time. It’s also unhealthy. While each of us remembers a time when we were able to cram-sesh for 6 hours straight, it’s not sustainable over a long period of time, and you are far more likely to experience the dreaded burn-out and feel exhausted and unable to study. So, when creating that study schedule, make sure to include breaks. Have some short breaks for a few breaths of fresh air and using the restroom, and to get up and stretch--it’s unhealthy to remain sitting for a huge amount of time. Also set yourself longer breaks to go exercise, eat meals, or even just to do whatever you want. While many of us instinctively feel like this may be a waste of time, it’s the exact opposite--if we drain the entire battery and ruin our focus, how will we learn? Making time for leisure activities is as important as making time to study, and you’ll thank yourself for those breaks at the end of a day well spent.
5. Reward Yourself for Hitting Goals
Rewards are a great way to stay focused on big goals. Treat yourself to something small at the end of a week of successful studies. Set a goal for a particular unit of learning and make sure you follow through on the reward once you’ve accomplished the goal. Inform friends and/or family of your goals so they can be on-hand to encourage you or even help you stay on task. (Just be careful who you assign to help, some folks help is more helpful than others and you don’t want to create unnecessary tension in your relationships!)
With these tips, you will find your way to a healthy, successful learning schedule. It won’t be perfect--we’re still human after all--but it can make the difference between time slipping away from you and time well spent. If you fall off the wagon, don’t give up on yourself--just work your way back to focus, maybe set up a different reward, or change up your focus music. If, throughout your semester, you find yourself needing to take a few days, then listen to that voice. We are living in unusual times, and the stress reached us all differently and will only worsen if ignored. We wish you all a successful learning experience online here with Cameo Beauty Academy and we are here to help you plan learning strategies that will ensure your success, as well as restructure with you if you find yourself falling behind. And when you successfully complete your studies, we can’t wait to celebrate your successes with you!