3rd August 2020
The current pandemic that is sweeping the world doesn’t mean that student life needs to be put on hold. Instead, it simply means that you must adapt to what is an extraordinary period in your life. Now more than ever it’s important to look after your educational prospects, as well as your physical health, mental well-being and social activity. Simple steps such as sticking to a routine, keeping in touch and making the most of online technology can ensure you will have a productive year at university.
We have compiled a list of some of the best steps you can take to help you adapt to university life in these unusual times.
Routines are essential in helping us to lead a positive life. Sticking to a routine can help you build good habits all in the aid of working towards a goal, increasing productivity and improving mental well-being. When universities reopen in September, you may find yourself studying away from campus more often than usual. We recommend that you set small goals every day and familiarise yourself with a routine. Avoid falling into the trap of allowing a lack of motivation to take over. Go about your day as if you are heading outside by waking up early, grabbing some breakfast and getting dressed. You may have more time to spare due to less commuting, but make the most of this time rather than wasting it.
Outside of hours where attendance is required, such as live lectures, allocate a study time that suits you best. Some people find that they are more productive in the morning while others are the polar opposite and prefer studying at night. Try not to overwhelm yourself by multi-tasking, but instead focus on one project at a time. A daily routine doesn’t just involve studying, however. Make time to re-energise and reward yourself with entertainment, time with friends and family, and food breaks.
You may now find that the space you call home is also the place you spend most of your time studying. With face-to-face teaching and libraries becoming limited, time spent studying away from university buildings will no doubt increase. You should aim to choose a dedicated study space and make this a comfortable place to work. Tidy up the space so that it looks clean and organised, and will allow you to be productive. If possible, avoid your bed and other areas that you associate with relaxation and leisure, as well as communal areas that may cause distractions.
The current lockdown restrictions mean that you no longer need to stay at home as much as possible. As long as you continue practising social distancing and stick to the guidelines, you can adopt a change of scenery to freshen up your study time. Studying outside in the garden, heading to the local park on a sunny day or visiting a quiet cafe are popular choices. Whether studying indoors or outdoors, there are several ways you can make the environment more relaxing. Make use of soothing music, calming scents and cool temperatures to keep you fully focussed and productive.
This point is perhaps one of the most important ways in which students will have to adapt in the forthcoming academic year. Virtual teaching is set to become more common due to the regulations that are in place discouraging gatherings of large groups at any one time. A large portion of lectures, workshops and assessments are now expected to take place online, and some courses may even choose to fully move their modules to a virtual environment. Before you embark on your first day of the new academic year, make sure that you have the equipment and software required to make the most of your studies. Consider any technical mishaps that may occur such as poor wi-fi, computer crashes and inability to speak or hear sound where required.
There will undoubtedly be advantages and disadvantages to this way of teaching, but it’s up to you to make the most of it. Remember to fully divert your attention and don’t forget to take notes. If a teaching session has been recorded, consider watching it back as part of your studying, but don’t use this as an excuse to not fully engage during the live activity. Chances are you will be used to having access to resources through an online portal, but now you can expect this to increase further. It remains possible that more online assessments will take place as an alternative to in-person exams.
Living a healthy lifestyle should always be a priority, but in these current times, it’s especially essential to get into a fit and healthy state. With less walking required and limited places to visit on a daily basis, your physical health can suffer as a result. Try and go for regular walks and runs in your local park, or sign-up to a gym when it re-opens. There are also more online resources than ever before for engaging in a home workout. Alongside exercise, mediation and yoga are also extremely effective in relaxing your body and relieving stress. Strenuous physical activity isn’t the only thing that can keep you in shape. Take regular breaks from studying or procrastinating to get involved in another activity and keep your body moving.
Avoid eating junk food and overindulging in snacks just because you have more time at home. Now is a great time to pay closer attention to what you eat and focus on mastering your kitchen skills by cooking healthy recipes. Don’t drink too much alcohol, especially while studying, and stick to a routine of getting a good night’s sleep.
In some way or another, we’ve all had to adapt to staying in touch with our loved ones over the past few months and this has involved making the most of online technology. If there’s one positive thing we can take from the pandemic, it’s a better appreciation for social connectivity. Physical connections may be limited but this doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself emotionally. Stay in touch with your friends, family and classmates regularly by simply calling, messaging or video chatting. You may even wish to make it a daily or weekly occurrence at the same time, and make some fun out of it such as hosting a virtual quiz night.
Social interactions are one of the most important parts of the student lifestyle. Physical gatherings, including face-to-face lectures, are still possible as long as health guidelines are followed. That said, you may wish to use this as an opportunity to improve how you interact with your fellow classmates. For instance, you could arrange a virtual group chat to take place regularly where you could discuss ideas together and share notes on the course’s content. Student unions, clubs and societies will largely still be available, although altered to reflect health guidance. If you are feeling particularly lonely, there are several online sources available to meet people with similar interests, and the university’s well-being team will be able to offer support and advice.
We have rounded up some of the current guidelines that Liverpool universities have announced about how they will continue to operate and measures they’ve put in place to keep students and staff safe. This is a fast-moving situation so be sure to keep yourself updated regularly on any changes your university announces over the next few weeks and months.
University of Liverpool
Liverpool John Moores University
The past few months have been challenging for every single one of us. However, society is slowly opening up to embrace a new sense of normality. While things may be different for a while, it’s important to see the positivity in the changes that we will have to adapt to and understand why they are in place. When catching up with friends at a local pub or restaurant, getting your long-awaited hair and beauty treatment or losing some lockdown weight at the gym, be patient and supportive of the steps that businesses are taking to keep you safe.
Finally, keep doing your part to keep yourself, your family, your friends and your community safe. Wash your hands regularly, wear a face mask in enclosed public spaces, maintain social distancing where possible, and self-isolate if you begin to show symptoms.
At Luxury Student Homes, we are still open and ready to help you move into your perfect student home in Liverpool. Please find out more about the COVID-19 measures that we currently have in place to keep yourself and our staff safe. If you are still looking for student accommodation for the forthcoming academic year or planning ahead for 2021/22, view our available properties.