How to stay engaged with your (virtual) studies
It really is quite an odd time to be a university student, isn’t it? Whether you are still going into university for seminars, or are isolating at home, it isn’t easy to stay motivated and optimistic! Especially now the evenings are drawing in faster and the weather’s a bit colder, motivation among students may be at an all time low right now.
So, in this blog, I will be taking you through some advice regarding staying involved and engaged in your studies and university life in general.
Decide on a workspace – If you are not going into university very much, then this is likely to be your desk, or a kitchen table. It is all too tempting to wake up five minutes before your online seminar and sit groggily in your bed. Not only is this likely to make you feel sleepy and disengaged, but it is completely mixing up your work and relaxation space! Set a space to do your work, and try to stick to it. You might find that you actually work more productively in the university library, so set yourself a goal to go in a few days a week for most of the day.
Deciding on where you’re going to carry out the bulk of your workload can ensure that some consistency is embedded into this otherwise inconsistent period of time!
Stay up to date – It really is worthwhile buying an academic planner, or just a regular notebook to plan out what work needs to be prioritised, and when your deadlines are. Having them physically written down as opposed to just hiding in your MyWarwick app will help to keep you motivated and working towards a completed goal. Working from home can come with distractions, but if you have this reminder on your desk, then you are more likely to be productive. Take 10 minutes each day to go through your emails, jotting down any important events (time and date) so that you don’t forget!
Decide what works for you – the increased flexibility that reduced contact hours and increased virtually uploaded lectures actually gives us the power to plan our workload. It means that, as opposed to attending a 2 hour lecture that would result in me getting home at 7pm in the dark and cold (not a good recipe for a Monday in the winter!), I can now get the bulk of my work done in the morning, because I can choose when to go through the Moodle lecture content. Obviously, seminars will require synchronous attendance.
Look after yourself – You have probably heard it a million times, but it is very important. Make sure you’re getting a decent night’s sleep, eating well, and, if possible, getting into the fresh air. These small things are so important for maintaining our daily wellbeing. If you look after yourself in these respects, you will feel ready to take on the next day of uni work.
Schedule in time for human connection – With the current lockdown, we are all unable to see some very important people in our lives. Scheduling in some zoom catch ups, some virtual quizzes (lockdown 1.0 style!) or, going on a walk with one person outside of your household (which is allowed under current guidelines), it will help you to get some down time, check in on your mates and get some space away from your work. Then, when you return to your work, you’ll likely feel refreshed and in a good space to do so!
I hope this has been helpful! We are approaching Week 7 of Term, so well done everyone – we have all done very well so far! (…if you want to get in the Christmas spirit to help motivate you for the rest of term, the John Lewis Christmas Advert is now out!)