Adjusting your study habits during COVID-19

Things may feel out of control right now. You may face a lot of unknowns and disruptions. Try to be patient with yourself, your classmates and your instructors during this time. Take care of your well being first.

Making a plan and adjusting your studying may help you feel even a little sense of control.

We will get through this together.

Use this resource as a starting point.

In this guide, we will talk about:
• Staying organized
• Avoiding multitasking
• Making the most of video lectures
• Setting a schedule
• Trading your strategies for new ones
• Working with a group or team
• Staying connected to other people

With so many things changing in your courses, you might relive that first-week-of-class confusion at finals-week pace.

Here are some things you might want to keep track of for each class:

Are in-person parts of the class changing?

  • What are the in-person parts of this course? (lecture, lab, etc.)
  • Where can you find it or how do you access it? (live-stream, lecture capture, etc.)
  • Is it at a specific time or can you watch it anytime?

Are assignments changing?

  • Are there new due dates?
  • Is how you are submitting your assignments
  • Are any quizzes or exams being offered virtually?

What should you do if you need help?

  • Is your course offering virtual office hours? When and on what platform?
  • Is there an online forum for asking questions?

If you’re doing more work on your own and your time is less structured, you might be more tempted to multitask. Many people think they can do multiple things at once. But research shows us that only about 2 percent of the population can multitask. Even if you feel like you’re multitasking, you are probably not. Really, you are just switching between tasks very quickly. Some call this “microtasking.”

The downsides of multitasking and microtasking:
• Assignments take longer. When your attention drifts elsewhere, say Instagram, it takes more time to get back to work. You have to get familiar with your assignment again, find your spot, remember what you were doing next, etc.

• You are more likely to make mistakes. Distractions and switching between tasks tires out the brain.

• You will remember less. When your brain is divided, you are less able to commit what you are learning to long-term memory, because it does not get encoded properly into your brain.

What to do instead
When you need to study something important consider the magic of monotasking.
• Focus on one thing at a time.
• Take breaks between tasks.
• Consider the “pomodoro method” to help you focus for 25-50 minute periods and then reward yourself with 5-10 minute breaks.

  • Stick to your instructor’s schedule as much as you can. Staying on a schedule can emit a feeling of normalcy and prevent you from falling way behind.
  • Find out how to ask questions. ls there a chat feature? Is there a discussion forum?
  • Close distracting tabs and apps. Humans are not as good at multitasking as they think.
  • Continue to take notes as you would if you were there in person.
  • Watch recordings at normal speed. Research shows that playback speed of 1.5x can lower your retention and can cause lower scores on assessments. Faster playback speeds are worse for complex, multistep material, which for most of you, lectures probably are.

As the situation unfolds, you may have fewer social commitments, group meetings or work hours. Setting a schedule for yourself can help provide structure and keep you motivated. If you don’t already, keep a weekly or daily calendar. Try something like the example below to organize your time. Include time for exercise and self care.

Your routines may have to adjust during this time. Look for ways to adapt your usual habits and form new ones.

For example:
If you usually study in a coffee shop or library, ask yourself what kind of environment helps you study. See if you can recreate that at home. Maybe it is studying in a chair, rather than on your bed or couch, or moving to a new spot when you change tasks. Consider a white noise app if you feel you need background noise.

Do you always study in groups? Try a virtual or even phone-based study session with your group.

If you thrive on tight timelines, but now have a more open schedule, think about how working with others or setting up a schedule can recreate that for you. When that gets hard, see if you can even do fifteen minutes at a time.

  • Remote collaboration will look a little different, but it is definitely possible.
  • Try not to procrastinate. That group project may be out-of-sight, out-of-mind if you are not seeing each other regularly. Resist the urge to put it off. Make small progress and stay in touch.
  • Meet regularly. This is important if you usually touch base during a class or lab. Consider a quick text on your group chat about progress every couple of days. Ideally, have real conversations over video any week you’re working together.
  • Set a purpose for your meetings and use a shared notes doc. Meetings might feel different when using video, even if your team was great at working informally in the past. Try to set the purpose of your meeting in advance. Take notes in a shared doc so you can all contribute and follow along.
  • Keep videos open when you can. As long as you can see whatever you need to collaborate, aim to keep the video visible on your computer screen. It’ll help you see the expressions of your teammates and stay connected to each other.
  • Check on each other and ask for backup. If someone has been absent from your group meetings or chat, ask them directly if they are stiII able to participate in the proiect. If you are not getting responses within a day or two, let your instructor know. It is not being petty, it is your team’s responsibility.

Even if we limit how much face-to-face time we spend with others on campus, connecting with family and friends might be more important than ever. And staying in touch with instructors, classmates and group mates is still im­portant for continuing classwork.

Here are a few ideas:
• Schedule video calls with friends and family. Talking with loved ones is often helpful when you are stressed or nervous about something. Taking a break to have a laugh is also important.
• Use Hangouts in g-chat, to connect with classmates to talk through a tough problem.
• Attend virtual office hours or study groups so you can stay up on your coursework.

If COVID-19 has disrupted your travel plans, ended a lab experiment you were excited about, or for any reason feels like it came at the worst possible time, remember: this is temporary. You will find your way when it settles down. You will get back on track, and things will get back to normal. We do not know when, but it will happen.

Until then, take a deep breath, do your best, get some rest and wash your hands.


Is Nicholls State University still open? 

Yes and no. Though our students and many of our faculty and staff are no longer coming to campus, we are still fully committed to educating and graduating our students. Many of our services, such as Dining Services, the Counseling Center, Tutorial and Academic Enhancement Center and Ellender Memorial Library are still helping students. 

What do I do if I need to drop a class? 

The drop date has been moved to Monday, April 20. If you need to drop a class, email and CC your professor, academic department head or dean. If you are dropping below 12 credit hours and receive financial aid, you should also contact financial aid at prior to dropping the course as this could impact current and future financial aid.

COVID-19 Specific

Will the health center offer online counseling? 

The Nicholls Counseling Center is here for you during this stressful time. Counseling will be offered via teletherapy on a secure platform, and will be operational even if the university has to physically shut down. To schedule an appointment, contact the office at 985-448-4080 and leave a message. Voicemails will be checked every 15 minutes and calls returned from the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also email and you will be given a link to the remote platform to connect with a counselor.


Is Nicholls switching to online learning for the whole semester, or reevaluating after a few weeks?

Nicholls will continue online operation for the rest of the spring semester. We will continue to assess the situation and keep the campus community updated. 

Will the semester be extended?

At this time, there is no need to extend the semester. Classes are continuing online without disruption to the semester timeline. That means that final exams will end on May 13 and final letter grades are due May 14.

How will this affect international students who are going home and have to complete classes in a different time zone?

International students have been advised to keep in close touch with their professors for any questions pertaining to coursework, including issues related to timezones.

Will lab credit be awarded?

Yes, you will be able to continue your lab work and earn credit this semester. Our faculty are working hard to convert practical lab activities to virtual platforms. Your instructor will contact you to help you access the virtual labs. 


What is the college doing to assist students who do not have WiFi and a computer at home?

The computer lab in Ayo Hall will remain open at this time for those without access to a computer or internet. The lab has been strategically reconfigured to follow CDC guidelines for social distancing.

Location: 101 Ayo Hall

Hours of Operation:
M-Th 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
Sat 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. 
Sun 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.


I need help with technology-related questions.

Students should send their questions to Faculty and staff should send their questions to

How to keep yourself safe online?

Follow the guidelines outlined in our IT Acceptable Use in Email policy

Beware of any phishing, vishing or smishing scams from unknown sources. These sources often ask for uncommon requests, such as for personal information, to send money or that you follow a link or open a file. They are often marked by by broken or misspelled language. 

Follow these recommendations from Google on creating strong, unique passwords. 

Enable 2-step verification when possible. You can do this for your email accounts here. 

Protect your devices by keeping them up-to-date, never leaving them unattended while using the internet or apps and installing quality anti-virus programs.

Is ACCUPLACER placement testing still available?

Placement testing for freshmen can be administered remotely. If you are interested in taking the placement test, email Phone messages can be left at 985.493.2599 and will be answered as quickly as possible. Students may also visit our web page at

Education Abroad

What impact does this have on Study Abroad? 

Nicholls is mindful of the dangers of traveling abroad at this time. The university will not put its students in harm’s way or into a situation where they cannot return home. Some travel abroad has been cancelled, and those scheduled for more than 6-8 weeks in the future are considering options.

Housing, Moving & Travel

Will campus be closed for the rest of the semester?

Nicholls will continue online operation for the rest of the spring semester. Though our students and many of our faculty and staff are no longer coming to campus, we are still fully committed to educating and graduating our students. Many of our services, such as Dining Services, the Counseling Center, Tutorial and Academic Enhancement Center and Ellender Memorial Library are still helping students.

Are the residence halls open?

At this moment in time, the residence halls and apartments remain open, however, we are strongly encouraging students who can travel home safely to do so at this time. Before leaving campus completely, students should remove their belongings and do a complete checkout at the front desk of their residence hall so they can turn in their key.

Do students need to provide a reason if they’re unable to leave?

If a student does not plan on doing a complete checkout of their residence hall or apartment at this time, they should email our office at to let us know their circumstances.

Will the school provide free storage for students who live out of state? Can you recommend local storage facilities?

We are recommending that students who leave campus take their belongings with them and do a complete checkout of their residence hall or apartment. If a student has already left campus and has belongings still in their room, they should reach out to our office at to arrange a time for them to come pick up their belongings if they can. If a student has extenuating circumstances and needs to leave belongings behind, they should communicate with our office so we can work with them as best as possible. 

U-Haul is offering 30 days of free Self-Storage to students who need to move due to this situation. There may be limited availability in this area, but students can visit to find a nearby location.

How does this affect work-related or school-related travel? 

All Nicholls-related travel has been canceled until further notice.


How long will food be accessible to students who remain on campus?

Nicholls dining will be here for students for as long as there are students on campus. The Vernon F. Galliano Dining Hall will be providing home-cooked style meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and also weekend brunches. The dining hall is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for Saturday brunch and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. for dinner. The Original Burger Company (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and The Grid (7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday) convenience store also remain open. Only carryout is available at all locations.

Will the Chick-fil-a remain open for the remainder of the semester? 

The Nicholls Chick-fil-a location will remain open as long as the campus is open. The restaurant is open for carryout only.

Other Campus Services

Can I still access the Academic Testing Center?

Yes, placement testing for fall incoming freshmen can be administered remotely. Students interested in taking placement tests should email Phone messages left at 985-493-2599 will be responded to as quickly as possible. Students may also visit our web page at

What if I was getting ready to transfer to Nicholls for a future semester?

We are remotely evaluating transcripts for both transfer students and prospective transfer students. Inquiries should be emailed to either or Phone messages left at 985-448-4462 will be responded to as quickly as possible. As transcript evaluations are being completed, departmental advisors and students are being notified. 

What if I am in the dual-enrollment program?

Dual Enrollment classes are being continued remotely. Dual Enrollment inquiries should be emailed to Phone messages left at 985-448-4117 will be responded to as quickly as possible.

Where can students get help, such as tutoring?

The Tutorial and Academic Enhancement Center will continue to offer tutoring and writing assistance, even as the university operates remotely. All sessions will be conducted online through email or Zoom.

To schedule tutoring appointments, email For writing appointments, email  Phone messages can be left at 985.448.4100 and will be answered as quickly as possible. Students may also visit our web page at for online resources. 

Will the Counseling Center be operating? 

The Nicholls Counseling Center is here for you during this stressful time. Counseling will be offered via teletherapy on a secure platform, and will be operational even if the university has to physically shut down. To schedule an appointment, contact the office at 985-448-4080 and leave a message. Voicemails will be checked every 15 minutes and calls returned from the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also email and you will be given a link to the remote platform to connect with a counselor.

Will Student Health Services be open?

Nicholls State University Health Services will be here for students who remain on campus. The center will be open until further notice. The clinic hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday and Friday. The center can be reached at 985.493.2600. 

Can I access the Student Access Center during this time? 

Yes, the Student Access Center is here for you and will be setting up video conferences with zoom. The center is also still actively collecting class notes from volunteer notetakers and distributing them via Google Drive. If you have any questions or concerns, call 985.448.4430 and leave a message. The voice mail is being monitored throughout the day. Or send an email to or The center can also help you with registration services via electronic forms and emails. While the Student Access Center is not open for testing services on campus, students are encouraged to contact Mrs. Heidi Dupre at to make other arrangements during this period of online testing. Instructors are also encouraged to contact the center if they have any questions or concerns.

Will I be able to meet with my advisor? 

Yes. Freshman students, students who have fewer than 30 credit hours, are assigned an advisor through the Academic Advising Center. For advising you may contact your advisor directly by phone or email. If you do not know your advisor’s contact information, please call the center number 985-448-4117 and leave a message, or email An advisor will contact you. Advising sessions will be conducted via email or phone. For students with over 30 credit hours, contact the advisor assigned to you by the department of your major via email.

Can I access my mail or campus mail services? 

The Post Office will remain open until further notice. Hours of operation are 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can access your P.O. Box through the lobby, which will remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the exterior door of the Post Office. If you would like to have your mail forwarded, you can fill out a form at the post office or email your information to

Will Ellender Memorial Library remain open?

Ellender Memorial Library is closed but students and faculty who want to use online library resources or contact a librarian can do so by visiting or emailing Every department of the library is working remotely and can be reached via email.



Will the university hold a graduation ceremony?

No decision has been made on commencement ceremonies. Commencement is such an important time for our graduating seniors and their families. We are holding out hope that we may be able to hold a ceremony and share in their accomplishment. We will communicate to campus when a decision has been made. 

Student Employment and Internships

Will student employees and graduate assistants be able to work? 

Student workers and graduate assistants will continue to be paid for the remainder of the semester. The number of hours for the pay period beginning on March 1 through March 15 will be used to determine the remaining payrolls for the semester. For student employees working more than that number of hours, they should contact their supervisor and complete a timesheet to document the hours for work performed. A supervisor will work with student employees on job assignments and duties during this time working remotely.

What about students in clinical placements, internships, laboratories and student teaching? 

If you have any concerns about your clinical placements, internships, laboratories and student teaching placements, please contact your faculty advisor.

Can Nicholls recommend undergraduate candidates for certification if the candidates were unable to complete 270 clock hours of student teaching or the yearlong residency? 

Yes. If school or university closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak prevent undergraduate candidates from completing the required number of student teaching hours, universities may recommend candidates for certification so long as they have successfully completed their courses.


Am I required to completely move out of my residence hall? What if I am unable to go home or leave campus?

While residence halls and apartments are open at this time, you are strongly encouraged to go home if you can do so safely.  Students who are unable to leave campus will be accommodated but may be asked to relocate.  Also please note that campus visitation is currently restricted and social gatherings are prohibited. If you are unable to return home or leave campus, you must inform the Office of Residential Living as soon as possible, but no later than the close of business tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Can I leave my belongings in my room?

If you officially check out of your room, you should formally check out at the front desk of your residence hall, remove all of your belongings, and turn in your key. However, if you want to return home but need additional time to check out of your room and remove your belongings, you should notify the Office of Residential Living via email at 

Will I be charged to check out?

No, there is no charge associated with checking out.

Are there any changes in the checkout process?

When you check out of your room you are asked to limit the number of individuals you bring to campus to assist you to preserve the health of our residential community.

Is there an additional charge for staying on campus if I need to remain?

No, there are no additional charges if you remain on campus, but you will not receive a refund.

Will resources like dining and the Student Union remain open?

At this time dining will remain available in a “to go” format and the Student Union  is open for access to the Grid; however, conditions are subject to change and no gatherings are allowed in the Student Union.  As a result, additional limitations for dining options and access to other facilities may occur. The computer labs in the library will remain open until further notice. Please check departmental websites, social media accounts, and your student email for the most recent updates.

If I check out before the end of the semester, will I receive a refund/credit for housing and meal plans?

If you check out of your room before the end of the semester, refunds/credits are being considered and would be calculated for both housing and meals.  Given that the situation is continuing to evolve, refunds will be issued as soon as conditions permit. Continue to check your student email account for updates.

If I remain in the residential community, is there anything else I need to know ?

Yes.  The policy implemented last week that only current residents are allowed in campus residential facilities and only in the hall within which they live, remains in effect.  Residents found with guests who are not current residents may be removed from University Housing. Parties and/or social gatherings have been suspended within all residential communities as the University is continuing to encourage students to maintain social distancing and minimize interactions with others. Additionally, all residents are required to remain in their hall between the hours of 10:15 p.m.- 5:00 a.m. as all dining services will close at 7 p.m. and library labs close at 9 p.m.

Virtual Student Questions/Concerns