Tools and resources for new and current students to prepare for learning and life at Mohawk.
Healthy space, healthy mind, healthy planet
Creating and maintaining healthy spaces, healthy minds, and a healthy planet are critical ingredients to success in your academics, career and personal lives. Review the information and resources provided here to help set yourself up for success. After all, healthy is the new wealthy!
On this page:
Your learning space
Make your learning space your own. Below are some tips and tricks to setting up a learning space and routine to support your learning in a virtual/remote environment.
Setting up your study space
Where and how you set up your learning space can make a difference in your learning success.
Here are some tips for setting up your work space:
- Set up a “base camp”, a dedicated work space just for you, that is different than where you may do other activities (i.e. watch tv)
- When determining a location for your “base camp”, consider the following:
- Does your space offer a lot of distractions? If so, make a plan to minimize distractions (i.e. put your phone on silent, put a sign on the door if you're in class)
- Are you able to concentrate in this space?
- Is there too much or too little noise?
- Do you have privacy/quiet to participate in your classes?
- Does your space have enough/the right kind of lighting? It's important that your workspace has sufficient overhead lighting and screen brightness to reduce strain on your eyes
- Do you have room to take stretch breaks?
How to set up an ergonomic work space:
- Adjust the height of your desk and chair so that you are at eye level with your screen.
- Ensure you have sufficient overhead lighting and screen brightness to reduce strain on your eyes
- Additional tips on setting up an ergonomic work space
- The Learning Portal also provides a module on how to set up a workspace
- Province of Ontario shares tips on ergonomics
Balancing family, work and school at home
- Set boundaries for yourself!
- Know your limits and work within them
- Communicate your work requirements to your family so they can support you
- Dedicate specific time when you can complete your work and keep time aside for your family & friends
Tips for Studying at Home
- Check out the section on Study Habits in the ‘Tips for Learning’ page.
Reducing waste, saving energy and going green
A sustainable environment is essential for healthy living and a promising future. There are many simple ways you can contribute to a healthy planet during your time at college, while saving money at the same time! Here are a few:
- Repurpose household items: In addition to recycling, try repurposing common sources of household waste, like takeout containers.
- Green your laundry: Run laundry on cold, hang to dry and combine small loads with housemates.
- Walk or bike more: For shorter trips, walking and biking are the more efficient, healthy, affordable and planet-friendly ways to get around.
- Skip the Keurig and to-go coffees: Save money by making coffee at home. Many single-serve options don’t use plastic pods, and are less expensive.
- Minimize and compost food waste: Meal planning is a great way to shop smartly and prevent food waste. Use a green bin or compost for food scraps.
In classes and studying
- Take notes digitally: If it works for you, this is a great way to save paper.
- Buy used textbooks: Where possible, buying your books used will save you money and reduce waste.
- Power down: Fully shutdown your computer when you’re done with it. Unplug any electronics and chargers when not in use, as they still draw power even when they are not turned on.
- Take an elective: To complement your studies, consider signing up for an elective course in environmental sustainability.
Interested in volunteering or learning more about sustainability?
Get Involved with Sustainability at Mohawk
Connecting with nature
Spending time in nature, or bringing the benefits of nature indoors, can improve your physical health and help relieve stress, anxiety and depression.
Some ways to connect with nature include:
- Go on a walk
- Grow food or flowers – here are some videos from our Community Garden on how to get started!
- Keep a houseplant in your workspace
- Listen to nature sounds
- Spend time with animals
Getting into the right mindset will set you up for success in a virtual and remote learning environment.
Here are a few tips:
- Try to remind yourself that this isn’t a vacation from school but rather a transition to online learning at home
- Set an alarm if you need help getting the day started
- Get up and get dressed so you feel ready for the day
- Set up a “base camp”, a dedicated workspace just for you
- Create a schedule for the day. Try to schedule studying at times when you feel most alert
- Communicate your schedule to the people you share space with so they know how to support you
- Set achievable goals for each day and celebrate small victories
- Take regular 10-minute study breaks as a reward for your hard work
- Eat healthy snacks to power your brain. A good night’s sleep helps too
- Connect virtually with friends and peers for motivation and support
- Practice mindful breathing if you're feeling stressed:
Managing expectations is key to your learning success.
Here are some strategies to help:
- You can do anything, but not everything
- Read through your class outlines at the beginning of the term to see what will be expected of you
- Identify assignments you may struggle with or need to budget more time for
- Online assignments may take longer than usual
- If something is unclear, ask about it:
- Email your profs or group members to make sure you understand what’s happening
- Go to office hours
- Use discussion forums
- Use a day planner and/or calendar to keep track of everything you have scheduled (school and otherwise)
- Use organization apps (e.g. Trello), the MyCanvas calendar or a good old fashioned notebook!
- Import class times and meeting invites to your device calendars to keep track of them
- Create folders on your computer desktop to keep courses and documents organized
Here are a few resources from the Learning Portal to help you set goals and bounce back from challenges:
Here are a few tips on building your resiliency and managing stress:
- Schedule something every day to look forward to! (e.g. favourite snack, or a walk)
- Remember the break and exercise tips!
- Mix it up! Try not to work on one thing for more than 2 hours. Use breaks and exercise to pace yourself
- Keep informed. Avoid unnecessary stress by checking MyCanvas regularly for course updates, so that you don’t miss anything important
- Set your MyCanvas settings to send notifications to your email
- Sign on to meetings 10 minutes early to make sure your links work
- If you are finding it difficult to manage, Counselling Services is here to help!
Mohawk’s Counselling Services has developed a series of resources to support student wellness generally and specifically during difficult and uncertain times:
- Resources for uncertain times
- Strategies to get through uncertain times
- Get Support
- Social Inc
- Counselling Services
Here are some additional resources from The Learning Portal to support your resiliency:
Your support network
Your support network is a group of people that you would reach out to or rely on for support in exciting or challenging times. Knowing who your support network is, can help you feel supported and prepared for any challenge you may face. Your support network is yours, you get to decide who is part of it, and how they support you. It could include friends, family members, instructors or coaches and professionals.
Here are a few tips on making friends in a virtual classroom:
Participate in your courses. Contribute to discussion boards (whether this is required or optional) to connect with other students in your program
- Create an online study group with others from your program
- Discover virtual student groups and volunteering opportunities. Meet friends at the college by getting involved with Student Life, the Learning Support Center or the Mohawk Students’ Association
- Get to know other students outside of the classroom by connecting on social media.
Not feeling like yourself?
Mohawk College has trained counsellors who are here to support you! counselling [at] mohawkcollege.ca (Email Counselling Services) to set up an intake appointment.