• Madeline Murphy

Essentials For Navigating The Hellscape Of Digital Schooling.

SOS, currently in a toxic relationship with my computer.

(@ghoulsnightin / Instagram)


Finding out that my fall semester would be completely online was a rollercoaster of emotions. While the thought of staying in my sweats for morning classes is pure bliss, the reality is less dreamy.


When your computer becomes an extension of yourself it can be easy to lose your mind. So as someone who took virtual courses for over a year, I definitely found some must-have items and traditions that helped me cope. With the return of school in the rearview mirror, here’s how to avoid a complete meltdown. 



Blue light glasses will be your new best friend. 


Okay, I know that these sound like a joke, but they’re seriously my favorite thing. On those days when you have a three-hour lecture and club Zoom meetings, the screen will eventually take a toll on your eyes. These faux lenses act as a protective barrier between you and the harsh glare of your Canvas calendar. Also, if you’re like me and secretly wish you had a reason to wear glasses, they’re definitely a look. 






Limit your club tops and invest in some dope, Princess Diana-inspired sweat sets.


I promise you don’t need that many ‘going out’ tops. Besides the fact that there’s a literal pandemic going on, don’t focus on club outfits too much. When online shopping, keep in mind that with a virtual schedule, your most frequented locations will most likely be your bedroom and the grocery store. That being said, you should never have to sacrifice personal style for lack of occasion, so invest in some cozy sweat sets.






Get. A. Hotspot.


The beige walls of campus libraries are like a prison. Whoever said that they are the best spots for study sessions was seriously disturbed. Having a hotspot gives you the freedom to do school literally anywhere. 


Find your city’s best outdoor locations, pack a personal picnic and set up your laptop. Although your local coffee shop is an occasional escape from apartment life, these spaces end up feeling equally confining regardless. Don’t let an absence of internet keep you from some much-needed Vitamin D. Plus, it’s so much easier to practice social distancing while outside. 



Re-write your back to school’ shopping list


Unlike trips to Target in high school, there’s really no need for excessive stationery and binders. Your life will rapidly transition into an exclusively online format. From your notes to your planner, there’s almost always a virtual alternative to download. If you’re personally tied to the therapeutic stability of a bullet journal, I understand. But if you find yourself buying the same supplies purely out of habit, I would take a step back and get familiar with Google Calendar. 



What is self-care? (Asking for a friend.) 


Self-care is different for everyone, but completely necessary. Especially when you’ve entered a routine that’s overly dependent on technology. When I was a freshman looking for online class tips, I always saw recommendations about exercise routines and a vibrant social lives, but these aren’t always how we want to recharge.! Whether it’s driving around with an audiobook or taking a bath with a Trader Joe’s frozen pizza, stepping away from the screen is my personal favorite way to bring back emotional energy. 





Here’s to staying sane and hopefully paying attention during Zoom lectures. 








Madeline Murphy is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She’s currently studying Journalism with a minor in Women’s Studies. Madeline can be found making Apple Music playlists, trying Nigella Lawson recipes and binging SATC. She’s fiercely passionate about social justice and the power of words.