Life in lockdown has its challenges and not least is studying at home. Whether or not you have exams this year, it is still important to strive to do your best. Here are some tips to help you to stay on track.
Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”. What is your end goal? It might be to get into university, or to learn a new skill, to qualify for your dream career or to get a job where you earn enough to retire at 50! Whatever it is, write it on a piece of paper and stick it on the wall in front of you, so you can see it regularly and let it inspire you.
Work with a study buddy. Keep in daily contact with someone else on your course, or someone else you know who is also studying at home. Work together virtually to compare notes and test each other to help you revise. Talk to each other about your day and what works well and what is not working so well.
Manage your time
Set a target each day. When you are not in college, it can be easy to get distracted and lose focus. Start each day by writing down just one thing that you must get done. Be honest with yourself, it must be achievable and could be a small task.
Stick to a routine
Treat your day as if it was a college day. Get up at the same time as you would for college, make sure you don’t skip breakfast or lunch and take regular breaks. Go to bed at the right time to get your proper sleep so that you are ready for the next day.
Create your learning space
Try to dedicate an area at home to your study. This can be difficult if space is tight or if you are sharing with family or housemates, particularly if they are trying to learn or work from home too.
Agree a rota with your family/housemates. If you are not able to work in your own quiet space or use your own computer all the time, draw up a weekly timetable between you. When are the critical times for each of you to use the computer eg: for tutorials, writing assignments etc?
Respect each other’s space. Even if it’s temporary and it’s your turn to use the kitchen table, let others know that it’s your time and the table should not be used for anything else during your agreed slot.
Make sure you switch off. If your learning space and your living space become muddled, it can be all too easy to let your routine slip and let your learning life merge into your leisure life. Walk away from your study zone at the end of the day.
Look after your wellbeing
We understand you will be experiencing a range of emotions right now. It’s important to recognise there is no right or wrong way as to how you are feeling.
Distinguish what you can control and don’t worry about what you can’t. We are all experiencing the same restrictive measures in lockdown, which we cannot control. All we can do is follow the guidelines to stay safe and protect each other. There is no point in getting angry, frustrated or stressed about something we can do nothing about. If you are feeling anxious, write down what makes you feel that way and highlight what is in your control. Concentrate on dealing with those things, with the help and support from your family, friends, your tutor/student services or other organisations if you need it.
Keep in touch with your friends. You might not be able to meet each other at the moment, but you can still make time for a facetime call or group chat.
Recognise the negatives and positives of social media. Social media can be a great way of keeping in touch with your friends and staying up to date with organisations you follow. But it is also a platform for people vent their frustrations and share incorrect information. Keep social media social and only allow true friends into your network. Turn off notifications and stick to just a few minutes per day to check for updates.
Take a break from the news. It’s important to stay up to date with the headlines, but if the news is getting you down, take a break from it. Again, turn off those notifications.
Exercise regularly. Keeping physically fit is important for your body and mind. And it is something we can all do, within Government guidelines. Set aside time in your day to get moving and burn some calories. You will feel better in yourself, it will ease stress and will help you to concentrate on your studies.
Take up a new hobby. Lockdown could just be the opportunity you needed to start a new pastime.
Check out the Wellbeing section on LEARN. There are lots of special interest groups you can join virtually at CWA, where you can meet other students and make new friends.
Some advice from other students
Click here to view: Support networks and empathy (Future First)
Ask for help if you need it
See also our Wellbeing & Mental Health page for details of other organisations who are here to support you.