Studying at Uni as a ‘Home’ Home Student
My first year of university is over, exams have been taken and we have a long Summer ahead of us – perfect! But what’s that looming over the horizon? The next academic year…
Much like every other student, I’m hoping for the next year of university to be and remain Corona-free – the reasons for which you can guess. Although, as optimistic as I’d like to be, I know this may not be the case, and we should be prepared for this in order to make the most out of next year.
Due to this, I’m also sure a number of us will be attending university virtually, whether that is from another country or from the UK – which is 100% justified given everyone’s different circumstances. However, attending university in this way can feel isolating – especially if the majority of your friends and course-mates appear to be on campus. It is understandable to be upset if you are in this situation, however there are a number of things you can do to help yourself out!
Due to my own circumstances, I had attended university virtually for the entirety of Term 2 and the majority of Term 3, however I was still able to make friends throughout my first year (I would even say I spoke to more people during Term 2 in comparison to being on campus during Term 1!). When I came back to campus at the end of Term 3 and met the people I got to know when studying virtually, it felt amazing to see my active efforts to get to know people when at home pay off.
If you feel as if you may be a similar ‘studying-from-home’ situation next year -it can’t hurt to attempt some of the following – they helped me to feel more connected to university life:
The first step is to talk to people! Although this seems like the most obvious step, it can be daunting to talk to people you don’t know – but taking the first step can pay off! Making friends with people on campus is a great way to feel connected to the people at university and the place itself – but both of these are only add-ons – the best part of this is being able to develop a meaningful social circle while still at home.
One thing to remember though, is to be consistent – having a 2 hour conversation with someone then never talking to them again is not the way to go! Putting effort into keeping in touch is key.
Creating a daily routine will add structure to your day – which makes you feel as if you are actually studying at an institution. Having set times for studying specific modules or making food also adds a sense of certainty which can be reassuring if you are dealing with a particularly difficult living situation. In addition, try to create a ‘study space’ which you only use (surprisingly) to study – not to sleep, not to watch Netflix etc. This could be a section of your bedroom or your kitchen table – anywhere that is convenient for you to watch lectures and take notes. Doing this will help your brain associate that part of the house only with studying – helping you stay less distracted.
Although this seems like the solution to almost every problem at university – it is used so many times because it actually works! Joining a society from home helps you feel as if you are part of something the university provides (that does not have to be related to academics). Doing so would also help you meet more people through the online events and virtual socials most societies seem to be hosting.
These are some of the things I did to help me feel part of the university even when at home – if you have any more suggestions, I’d love to know!
See you soon! xxx