the struggle of term 1 – and how you’re gonna be fine.
Lectures are online, but you forget that you have to do them in your own time. Some of therm are live, some aren’t. Some are as long as a YouTube video, while some others are longer than day-long summits. Then there’s seminars, some are in-person while some are not. Hard to figure out which ones are, I know; I’ve been through the first two weeks of term, too. It has been a struggle.
If you’re involved in a society (as am I), the struggle multiplies manifold. The idea of a student society is to meet like-minded individuals, and bond over a shared appreciation or love for a particular art form, food, or experience. However, when you can’t meet people, it becomes a bit of a struggle, doesn’t it? Being a part of the Warwick Hummus Society, I am constantly struggling to think of ways to bring people together to share hummus with one another. How does that happen, though? We can’t really share the same pot of hummus virtually, can we?
It really is a struggle, I agree. However, there is that little thing we all have; human solidarity. In times of adversity (like the pandemic we’re living through), the one thing we can do is support each other. Working together, unwinding together, making socially-distanced memories together; it’s easier said than done, but it is possible. Study with your flatmates, “attending” lectures at the same time so that you actually pay attention (and have a cute l’il study sesh omg). Go to a café with your friends, sit down with a cuppa and get some readings done, so that you get a caffeine hit, get to see your friends, and get some work done in one fell swoop.
Take the time to take a time out. I’ve said this time and again; since we’re at home most of the time, we feel this obligation to make up for our “laziness” by doing something “productive” all day, everyday. That doesn’t have to be the case. Don’t let society or anyone else decide whether you’re being productive or not. You got out of bed; that’s something to be proud of, in itself.
In this pandemic, we have had to re-evaluate what is “a waste of time” (in societal parlance) and what isn’t. We’ve been chided for being on our phones all day in the past (at least I have); now, it is the only way I can keep in touch with my peers, keep track of my classes, call my parents, and more. We’ve been told how watching videos online is not going to help us learn anything; now, educators across the board are delivering their lecture materials online, often in short-form videos. 9 a.m. lectures used to be a pain; now, we can wake up at ten to 9, tune into our lecture and learn something without stressing about catching the bus (for those of us who live off-campus).
This indicates a paradigm shift in how we learn and receive our education. We are the ones on the frontier, having to experience the changes turn our idea of education on its very head. Of course it’s going to be a struggle; we were told that watching lecture capture was “slacking off”, and now (ironically) lecture capture is all there is. Online interviews, sessions, concerts, shows didn’t feel like they were the real deal; now, they are the only medium of communication available. It is so much of a struggle to adapt to this state of new, that too so quickly.
So, in case you’re overwhelmed, remember this – I’m with you, too, being bamboozled by a lot of things. Getting used to the fact that I have to watch lectures on my own timetable (and noticing the lack of a timetable thereof), alongside my readings, and run a society. So is everyone else studying at university, at Warwick or elsewhere. We’re all in this together (no, I’m not just quoting HSM). If you feel like you’re falling behind, welcome to the club. We got your back.
If you’re ever struggling with anything, don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone who you think can help you out. For mental health and well-being assistance, reach out to the Wellbeing Support Services team. If you’re in the mood for a chat and don’t know who to call on, don’t hesitate to message me!
Relax, and have a super Sunday!