“…University will be moving all of its learning and teaching online…” are likely to be 11 words that the majority of students were dreading to hear in November last year. Personally, when this announcement was first made, I was very anxious, I kept asking myself: What does this mean for my course? Will I be able to stay motivated and continue to engage with my studies? Will this impact my grades in any way? How long will this go on for?
For some time, I thought these questions were the right ones to be asking myself and worrying about, but upon reflection, I was wrong. At the time, it was utterly natural to react in the way that I did, as I am sure many other students also asked similar questions and concerns.
However, in the end, most students are likely to come to the same conclusion, that is; that the current climate and ever-changing guidance is out of our control.
If you have struggled with similar dilemmas recently, then here are some top tips to help you focus on the things that are within your control:
- Study how you study best – Although teaching has now become virtual, as students, we all maintain control over how we independently learn throughout the term. Therefore, you should study in a way that works best for you whether that be: creating mind maps with music on in the background, or reading your textbook in the kitchen. The most important thing is that you do what is best for You.
2. Remember to leave your screen – One thing that a lot of us will forget when studying from home during a lockdown is to step away from our screens, despite the initial idea that by spending longer staring at a screen, you are more likely to be productive. You must take a step away from your work. This could be through: going for a socially distanced walk; a run; or even washing up. As a result, by taking this break, it is much more likely that you will return feeling refreshed and able to maintain focus to complete that final seminar question or last few pages of that chapter you had been working on before your break.
3. Reward yourself – Whether you have just received a good grade back for a piece of work, or you finally cracked the way of understanding that complex concept from a lecture, it is always important to recognise and reward yourself for your successes. These rewards could be anything from watching another episode of a show you have started binge-watching; or eating that chocolate bar that we all know has been calling you to the fridge. The key thing to remember is that whatever the reward is will motivate you to keep pushing yourself each day to be the best you can be.
4. You are not alone – Most importantly, you should never forget that you are not alone. If you ever feel that studying from home is beginning to take a toll on you, then never be afraid of reaching out to friends, family, mentors, or PATS. Although you may feel that none of these people will understand what you are currently going through, it is essential to remember that it is highly likely others have experienced or are experiencing the same concerns or dilemmas. Meaning, that collaboratively you will assist each other in working out the best ways to keep moving forward.
Finally, if you are currently sat reading this blog and are still struggling to find how any positives will make the current climate any better, then I leave you with this quote:
“The way I see it, life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant”. – Matt Smith
Written by Jack Hathaway
President of Law & Mooting Society 20-21