A Week of Following My Advice for E-Learning


In the recent issue of The Voyager, I wrote an article on how to stay sane during e-learning, which can be a very hard and stressful time. After talking to staff members at Homewood- Flossmoor High School, I put together four rules for students to follow: get eight hours of sleep, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and get away from all electronic devices when they are not needed. Now I’ve decided to put myself to the test, and see if I can follow these five rules for a week.

My goal was to have two days out of the four go as perfectly as possible. 

I knew this was going to be a challenge before I started. My sleep schedule, which averages between four and five hours, has been ruined ever since quarantine began and I also snack a lot and eat my first and only meal at 6 p.m. everyday.

You always have to prepare for something that’s going to change your day-to-day life, so I went to the grocery store and bought only things needed for breakfast and lunch since those were the only two meals I needed to provide for myself. I will admit I probably didn’t buy the best choices but something is better than nothing, right?

My biggest fear going into this was being away from all electronic devices when they weren’t needed; mainly my phone. I wasn’t addicted to my phone before quarantine, but I was bound to become addicted when it became my only way of communicating with people outside of my house. 

Therefore, my phone addiction caused me to stay up two hours past my bedtime of 11 p.m. I automatically put my phone on the charger and closed my eyes but couldn’t fall asleep because of the blue light from my phone.

According to SCL Health, “The blue light emitted by your cell phone screen restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle.”

The plan was for me to wake up at seven in the morning and go shower and get ready for online classes. I sadly failed the first day. I hit stop on my alarm, went back to sleep, and didn’t wake up again until eight, five minutes before first period. 

Waking up five minutes before class barely gave me enough time to brush my teeth and wash my face, so of course I didn’t have enough time to make myself breakfast. However, this didn’t throw me off because this was how my mornings were going from the beginning. I decided to take my L for the day and try again the next day. 

Day two and three went way better than day one. On both days, I woke up at seven, took my shower, and had breakfast. Taking a shower and eating before class made me feel more energized during my morning classes. 

However, being energized made me feel like I was Superwoman and that I could finish all my assignments during lunch. Because I was trying to complete all my work, I wasn’t able to have lunch or get away from my computer screen. 

To avoid making the same mistake again during lunch on day three and four, I went on a 20 minute walk around my neighborhood. The point was to get fresh air, get moving, and get away from the screens, and it worked. It made me feel refreshed. 

Afterschool was the hardest time for me out of all four days. Before taking on this challenge, I would go straight to my room and lay in bed while being on my phone but now I couldn’t do that. Some productive alternatives I found were cleaning my room, doing laundry, and doing more schoolwork. 

Throughout this week, I got a lot of work done, which was something I was struggling with. I was also struggling with sleep, which was impacting how I would feel throughout the day. Getting the right amount of sleep helped me stay more awake and focused throughout the day. 

To anyone who was struggling like me, I recommend getting a good amount of sleep, trying your hardest to eat throughout the day, and get away from screens when they are not needed. This week has given me ways to get through e-learning and I think it could really help you too.