Student Success > Success Strategies > Tips from Leaders

Tips from Student Leaders

Calendar showing text Everyday is a new start  

Staying Motivated

“It can be easy for some to fall into that trap of thinking, 'Eh, whatever, what’s the point of doing this anyway, classes are all pass/fail right now?' First of all, know that this is a difficult time for everyone and you are excused for not feeling too motivated to do anything. Being far from friends and co-workers is very draining. Stay positive and make sure that you have some kind of schedule. Write down a schedule and stick to it. Give yourself plenty of time to work, but also to relax. Make sure you go on short walks outside (while keeping a safe distance from others). Most importantly, don’t forget that this is just temporary and it will pass.”
–Luigi Alecce, Graduate Student

Writing Lecture Summaries

“After each lecture, I go through my notes and then summarize the main points from that lecture. I think that it helps to organize your thoughts in a concise and precise manner. Then when you go back to review for a quiz or exam, you can refer to this summary, or use it as a quick refresher throughout the quarter.”

–Kyle Kasparian, Senior

Managing Assignments

“Managing assignments can be especially difficult during times like this, and even more so when all of your classes are online. First, cut yourself some slack. You’re doing your best and that is good enough. Then, my recommendation is to start off your week by making yourself a schedule. Go through each of your classes on D2L, see what will be due, what lectures will be uploaded, etc. Make a list of everything. Put it on a calendar, in a planner, or just on a to-do list. Plan out times for each of the tasks you have to do. Spacing everything out helps!”
–Emma Melendez Scherer, Junior
iPhone laying on top of calendar  

Feeling Overwhelmed

If you're feeling overwhelmed, start with some of your easier assignments. This will build up motivation and productivity. Work up to those harder assignments once you're in the groove of things!

–Elona Selenica, Senior

Keeping Up with Asynchronous Classes

“If you’re struggling to keep up with work for your asynchronous classes, schedule the time that the class would’ve been to be your time to do that class work at home. Use the time to watch any recorded lectures, read notes and do assignments. Try to focus on only that course for that allocated time, and you should get a lot of the work done in that time. You’ll also keep up with deadlines!”
–Chiratidzo Sanyika, Sophomore
Man studying with book and iPad 

Getting Involved on D2L

“Reach out to your professors about starting study discussion forums on D2L. It’s a great way to meet your classmates and stay up to date on assignments.”

–Lauren Schmidt, Junior
Woman sitting on bed with iPad

Taking a Day Off

“Sometimes it feels like days can blend into one another and it seems like you are constantly watching lectures, doing homework, or studying for exams. I like to pick out a day during the week (typically Sunday) where I take the day off and promise myself not to work on anything school related and instead focus on self care, exercising, cleaning my apartment, cooking and baking, etc. Of course, this requires advance planning: I have a planner where I write down all my due dates and I make sure everything gets checked off before my 'day off' so I can spend the day without any worry or stress.”
–Jake Lukawski, Senior


Dressing to Impress

“It might be easy just to sit around in sweatpants since none of use have to leave our house for class. However, I find that if I dress like I normally would for class (not in sweats), I tend to work more effectively and be in a better mood throughout the day. I would recommend this to anyone that is struggling to get motivated to be productive.”

–David Anderson, Senior
Person lacing running shoes  

Keeping Healthy

“It is important to keep your body active as well as your mind. Going on a run, working out for just 30 minutes, or even going on a short walk all help stimulate your brain. I recommend that you try to get moving as early in the day as possible to maintain healthy rhythms within your body. We may be stuck at home, but you don’t have to be stuck in once place!”
–John Yenter-Briars, Senior

Designating a Workspace

“In order to stay motivated while doing homework, make sure you set up a designated area where distractions are limited. If possible, sit at desk and not in bed. Try to situate yourself in a room that has good WiFi reception, adequate lighting (natural lighting is best), and all the materials you need at hand.”

–David Palacios, Junior
Success - Go get it

Try to Separate School Time from Free Time

“The days easily blend together when being at home for so long. To make it a little more fun—make it feel more normal—I make sure to separate the weekdays from the weekends. Besides setting a time for when my weekend starts, I set a time for when the "school day" is over. Having a deadline makes me more productive and lets me not worry about school in my specified free time.”

–Annie Nyqvist, Junior

How to Research When the Library Is Closed

“It can be hard to write research papers without access to a physical library. Not to worry, the DePaul Library has plenty of online resources you can find through their website! For instance, you can refine a search by “Downloadable Article." You can also hook your DePaul Library account up to Google Scholar. Go to, click on Settings, then Library links. Search for DePaul and select "DePaul University - Find full-text @ DePaul," and then click save. Now, when you search in Google Scholar, some books and articles will have a link that allows you to access the full text through DePaul!”

–Sofia Lasky-Headrick, Senior

Fighting Procrastination

“The best advice that I have received on procrastination is to pretend that the assignment is due two days before it’s actually due. Getting work done ahead of time allows us to have more time to ourselves where we do not have to worry about submitting too many assignments all at once. We may all have a tendency to procrastinate, but we can also manage our time wisely and fight it!”

–Anjali Vaidya, Junior