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4 Tips for Succeeding in Virtual Classes: As Told By A Vet Student

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

As we all face a new "normal", students around the globe are faced with even more challenges. Many students who expected to study, test, and learn in a classroom setting are now confined to their living rooms or bedrooms in front of a screen. While it may be different and somewhat difficult - it's not impossible. In an effort to make this transition easier, Pyxis has asked our very own vet student intern, Breanna Morton, what her best advice is for surviving and thriving while taking online classes.

How to Be Successful in Online Classes (eLearning)

Stay Motivated - The best way to get yourself going in the morning, especially when you already know you don’t have to leave the couch, is to have a set of goals each day. Additionally, maybe even time stamp those goals to give yourself little wins throughout the day. It can be tricky, but try to stick to a schedule or routine as you would if you were physically going to class that day. I personally like to get up in the mornings and have breakfast at the kitchen table while I catch up on emails and plan my day. This way, I am away from my bed and all things cozy that could keep me from waking up. It may be tempting to set up shop on your bed, but this isn't a sustainable work space. Stay organized by setting up a space in your home for you to dedicate to studying regularly . Whether this spot is at a desk in your home office or at your kitchen table, this spot should stay organized to help you stay focused.

Stay Active - Don’t forget to get off the couch and get active in between video calls. Getting some exercise is a great way to stay awake in the middle of your day. This could be walking your dog, practicing yoga, etc. It can be easy to let the whole day slip by without even getting a breath of fresh air, but just a 30-minute walk can get you through that after-lunch slump.

Take Breaks - This can be difficult if you are like me and thrive with in-person learning and interactions. I usually like to give myself 10-15 minute “brain breaks” to do just about anything but look at something vet school related. This may mean catching up on housework; take care of the dishes or do some laundry. After about two to three solid hours of studying, I take an hour to watch an episode (or two) of a series I’m watching on Netflix or to catch up on a show I may have missed during the week. I have found my retention and attention span improve when I don’t force myself to study beyond two or three hours at a time. You deserve to turn your brain off in between sections, chapters or lectures. School is a marathon, not a sprint.

Use Resources- Sometimes it takes hearing and seeing things more than once in a different way to make sense, and sometimes you just want more information. At this stage in your career, your education is what you make of it. There are endless resources to assist you in learning about just about everything. More so now than before, don’t be afraid to utilize resources that are available to you. For vet students like me, reaching out to doctors and colleagues can be helpful. Exero Vet is another great supplemental resource to help with the understanding of procedures and clinical tasks that need more than a written or verbal explanation, and it is free*.

We know this semester will have its own set of challenges, but with the right mindset and some helpful advice - it's possible to be successful! Happy studying!

To learn more about Exero Vet and what it offers for vet students, visit

*Exero Vet is free for vet students through their VIN academic account.

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