It’s a daunting and bizarre time to be experiencing university from your bedroom, as nearly all university teaching has been moved to remote study. Even though it is impossible to be on campus currently and feel the natural buzz of hundreds of students around you, your university experience can still be just as fulfilling and worthwhile.
Whether you’re a fresher who has just started university or a final year student trying to cram in your dissertation before the deadline, here are 10 tips to help you survive university from home.
Establishing a daily routine
Creating a consistent and regular routine is vital to coping with the pressures of university. As students are no longer leaving their accommodations or houses, a daily plan can help you maintain a sense of control and structure that has been lost during lockdown. A to-do list, for example, is an excellent form of establishing a routine, as it allows for better time management and a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. A well ordered daily plan also encourages self-discipline, which is essential when students need to focus on university work.
Feeling good physically
As you’re attending university from home, clothing and style is probably the last thing on your mind, as there is no real necessity to get dressed up simply to stay at home. However, dressing in stylish and trendy loungewear can be a huge confidence booster, increasing mood levels and making your university experience much more pleasant. Feeling good physically is intrinsically linked to feeling good mentally, which is something that all university students need right now.
Maintaining a healthy diet
Fresh fruit and vegetables, along with plenty of water, are key for the brain and help boost energy levels, which is vital when studying from home. When working from your bedroom or sofa, it is much more likely that you will become tired and irritated; that’s why a healthy and balanced diet is essential. It will help encourage alertness and concentration and improve your memory.
Getting sunlight and fresh air throughout the day
During lockdown, most of your working day will be spent indoors, which can lead to cabin fever and potentially lower your mood. It is essential to sit in your garden or go for a short walk between classes, as natural sunlight is associated with improved mood. Perhaps pop out for a takeaway coffee to replicate what you would do if you were on campus and waiting for your next class to start.
Taking regular breaks
To reduce burnout when studying from home, it is imperative to take regular breaks in between online lectures and seminars. This not only improves concentration and performance but also helps to reduce stress and restore energy. Concentrating on a screen for a prolonged period can damage your health and mood; therefore, you must take regular breaks to refresh yourself.
Creating a study area
As tempting as it is, do not just sit in bed and attend your lectures in your pyjamas! Setting up a proper working environment, which includes a desk, a chair, some stationary, and water, will not only optimise your academic performance, but it will reduce sluggishness and allow you to feel as if you are attending university in real life.
Turning your camera on
Many students will often opt out of turning their camera and mic on whilst studying from home due to shyness and anxiety; however, it may work in your favour to openly introduce yourself to classmates and get to know them. This will encourage new friendships and bonds to be formed, which will undoubtedly enhance your university experience.
Feeling connected with people
As we cannot meet people in real life, it is vital to socialise as much as possible through zoom/email/texting. Keep in touch with your fellow classmates outside of lectures and whilst taking regular breaks, and be open to new and blossoming friendships. It is also a good idea to regularly socialise and stay connected with the people in your household in between studying. This reduces any feeling of isolation that lockdown has induced.
Rewarding your accomplishments and achievements
To reignite that drive and spark that keeps you going, it’s important to celebrate your academic accomplishments, whether that is simply completing an online test or getting an excellent grade back for an essay. Additionally, plan something to look forward to on the weekend, like a zoom pub quiz or a walk with your siblings in which you will feel good physically and mentally. You’ll know you’ve worked hard throughout the week and that you’ve earned it.
Utilising your personal tutors
Despite not seeing your tutors and professors face-to-face, one thing that will aid your university experience is keeping in constant contact with them online. They will help you more than you think, as they fully understand that attending university from home is particularly difficult. Attending your tutor’s office hours on zoom will reassure you that you’re on track with your work and make you feel less alone.
It’s hard to get the whole university experience right now, but these steps can help you feel more connected to your studies and increase your confidence.