Most of you who experienced the rapid transition to online classes when COVID-19 first emerged may feel as if you are hanging by a thread during this pandemic. And, as the outbreak spreads across the globe, those of you who wanted to return to school, or university may be dreading another semester of online courses.
When it comes to online learning, I am sure we all have differing views. While some of you may be elated at the prospect of not having to get up early to drive to college, others may be concerned about the huge workload that will befall us as a result.
Prior to the pandemic, it was easy to retreat to study at a coffee shop or library, but now we are readjusting to a new normal in which home studying is the only alternative.
Focusing on studies might not be easy when you are at home along with your other family members, who are also working from home due to the pandemic. However, here are some important tips and tricks that students can follow to manage their studies during this challenging time.
Set up your workspace:
It is important to have a dedicated learning space when moving from classroom-based learning to studying from home. This will assist you in settling in and developing an environment and mindset for studying. Treat your study area as a productive workplace once you have set it up. Keep your study area clean and organized because clutter is disruptive and can cause you to lose attention.
Talk to friends and family
The part that makes university life fun is the people you meet there. While many of you are unable to visit them in person or socialize with them as you did before the pandemic, you can still communicate with them through routine calls or video meet-ups to discuss about classes or any other topic.
Talk to your family and tell them about your worries and concerns about the class. After a long day in front of the computer, talking frankly about the problems that stress you out may be a welcome break. Allowing anxiety to overtake you during an online remote studying period would do more harm than good.
Seek assistance from professors whenever required
Even though professors and tutors seem to be continually churning out video lessons, face-to-face seminars, projects, and other events, they are acutely mindful of your predicament. They are struggling to get rid of the COVID blues. Therefore, they would be more than willing to talk to you and will be happy to assist you if you approach them.
Take care of your physical well-being:
The aim of lockdowns, limitations, and involuntary quarantine is to keep you safe and healthy. Staying glued to your laptop and cell phone screens for long periods inside the four walls of your house is harmful to your mental and physical health. Therefore, it is important to eat a balanced diet and exercise every day. Most notably, stick to a daily sleeping schedule so you can get up refreshed and ready to tackle the day's activities. Going to bed early in the evening and getting up early in the morning would not only positively affect your physical health but your academic performance as well.
Take breaks at regular intervals
You may be experiencing depressive moments and emotional rollercoasters than usual. As a result, working or learning all day is not ideal. Do not feel bad for taking too many breaks; it’s not your fault. The present scenario necessitates it, and it’s perfectly safe to unwind by listening to some soothing music or take a small walk inside your house.
Prioritize your mental health
Mental health is just as critical as physical well-being. Make sure you’re not investing too much time on social media that you’re being burnt out or procrastinating on your studies.
During the lockdown, it’s easy to get swept away by the negativity that comes in the form of misinformation or your friends’ picture-perfect social media posts. So, if you spend a lot of time browsing through social media, you should be aware of what you’re introducing yourself to.
All of us have been saddened by the state of affairs since the pandemic, which has led to pessimistic feelings. Take a step back to assess the situation, whether you find yourself worried or are thinking too much about something. Talk to people around you.
Whether we like it or not, COVID -19 is here to stay for a while. The key is to prepare, adapt and adjust to a ‘new normal’ to get through your studies. Remember that support is only a phone call away anytime you need it and that this, too, shall pass.
(Author Ashwani Awasthi is Managing Director-RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University. Views expressed here are personal.)