In my very first blog post, I wrote about the difficult aspect of doing my virtual exchange, which is that I experience a whole 12-hour time difference from Perth, Australia. I thought that this week, I would dive in a little deeper into what is affected most by this: my online lecture times.
As I have mentioned previously, my classes at the University of Western Australia all begin after 9 pm. Although this, at first, seems extremely fatiguing, I have found 4 tactics that have truly changed my outlook on late night classes. These keep me motivated to attend my classes and allow me to work at a comfortable pace!
The first tactic I employ is simply flipping my regular timetable around. Normally, when my U of T lectures would run in the mornings and afternoons, I would typically begin most of my school work and other tasks during the afternoon or evening. As my regular class timetable is now flipped and classes are held at night, I have flipped my own timetable around as well. I now begin doing all of my work and tasks a lot earlier, often from 8 or 9 am, and aim to finish at around 6 or 7 pm. I then take a break and prepare to join my online classes afterward. It’s this idea that ‘I have nothing else to do tonight but listen to my professors speak in a lovely accent’ which really helps me stay motivated and stress-free for the remainder of my night. I know that after my classes end, I have nothing else to do besides relax and sleep!
The second strategy that has helped me with my late classes is making a goal early on in the semester to learn at least one new thing about the Australian culture/environment during each lecture I attend. This helps to remind me that although I am not physically there, I am exposed to the culture through these lectures, so I should make the most out of it!
The third item on my list is quite an obvious one – having caffeine. However, the tactic here is figuring out the perfect time to consume it, so that it keeps me energized during my lectures, but also wears off by the time I want to head to bed. After some trial and error, I have found that drinking a cup of coffee at around 6 pm is what gets the job done.
My last little tactic is a bit unusual and not for the weak. Here it is: I sometimes watch the Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix before attending a lecture. This not only serves as a break, but helps to keep me awake… and I mean awake awake. How can I possibly get the urge to sleep during my classes if I can barely sleep in general? It may sound odd but it’s a great life hack. Try it out, if you dare.