At the emergence of an epidemic, it is only logical to set quarantine measures in place and further force the closure of the physical doors of an educational institute.
However lessons must still be dispensed and learning from isolation tends towards the new normal which is anything but.
The sudden shift from usual face-to-face hybrid courses to a fully online learning environment is accompanied by many uncertainties to students such as; quality of courses rendered, financial implications, provision of basic amenities, social activities, and life in general.
The best way of alleviating the impact of a pandemic on learning, sometimes, is to focus on the now. At this point, the “now” might mean that you need to get through this semester.
If you have not done this already, here are some tips for you.
1. Develop a routine.
Forming a routine may be the birth of your academic success. It is important to develop an actionable routine that actually adds value to the pursuit of the “now” either by making it less stressful or by making the most out of it.
Here are some suggestions, but you should decide what would work best for you.
- Get up at a regular time each morning. Get some exercise done, hone in on your focus for the day. Connect with yourself. This is one routine I will like to pick up personally.
- Envision your tasks or chores and strategize their completion. Ensure to get that playlist right!
- Engage in academic activities, Ask yourself questions and make significant contributions as wells
- Gain some Vitamin D from the sun, if possible. This is for those who are awake before the sun sets, of course.
- Go to sleep at a regular time. Obviously,this is required for you to get up at a regular time, you can’t be in the refrigerator by 3 am and expect to be up and running by 6:30 am, you kid yourself. Your body needs time to adjust to your new routine and schedule. So get enough sleep.
What are some of the routines you picked up that have worked for you? Let us know in the comment section!
2. Organize and Plan
With chaos all around, organizing your schoolwork can help set your routine and create structure. Create and declutter the area where you do your schoolwork.
Also, keep a calendar and write everything in it, such as due dates and reminders.
- Check your calendar daily. At the beginning of each week, identify your short-term (due by the end of the week) and long-term goals (due in two to three weeks). Put class materials in folders and separate the folders for each class.
- Normalize making a to-do list. At the start of each week, create a schedule and structure for yourself.The following strategies can help keep you academically buoyant:
Go through each of your classes, identify what needs to be done and the due dates, and make a schedule. For a short term goal don’t just say ‘In three (3) days, I must have finished my presentation slide on Bacterial meningitis.
Day 1: Create an outline and do extensive research
Day 2: finish research, Compile results
Day 3: Draw Conclusions, reference, Proofread and Reflect.
This strategy leads the next point.
3. Break down work into smaller chunks.
A mistake most people make is trying to do all their schoolwork at one go. Adopt the study smart guide and this won’t be an issue. You are in a marathon until the end of the semester, not a sprint. Focus on the most immediate, short-term goals.
In terms of your mental health, take it one day at a time. Or, maybe even an hour or a minute at a time, especially if your life has been upended or if you or your loved ones are sick.
Pace yourself, cut yourself some slack, and reward your efforts.
Put a rein on social media. Set rules around how much and what kind of information you are taking in and from whom. Give yourself time to digest the news.
4. Maintain your relationships.
World Health Organization advises the practice of social distancing but actually mean Physical distancing. So, It doesn’t mean you cannot be social.
- Connect with your classmates: Make use of social media groups. You could also form virtual study groups with your friends.
- Create a lecturer-student relationship: Communicate with lecturers. Reach out to see if they and their families are doing well. Show that you care. Also, ask your professors and advisors for help if need arises.
- Find something fun to do with the people you live with: Balance it out by carving out time for having fun with those you live with: School your brother on that FIFA, apply make-up on your sister or mother’s face, make videos and join the numerous challenges on the internet.
- Be nutured: Take some time with those relationships that feel nourishing to your spirit and your soul.
5. Polish your Values
When the going gets tough, values can keep us firmly rooted. Reflect on your values, what it means to you, and how you can continue to practice those values.
Here are some ways below:
- Continue to act with integrity and respect for yourself, your professors and classmates, your loved ones, and your community.
- Identify one or two ways your courses are helping you move towards your academic, professional, or personal goals.
- Be kind to yourself and others. Try to maintain the perspective that you and everyone else are doing their best while facing a lot of uncertainty and change.
- Drop bad habits that prevent you from getting work done! You should not be binge-watching a series while a research project waits for you.
- Keep it minimal on the procrastination. Doing it at a later time is not productivity.
Be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can, given the circumstances.
Keep your sense of humor. Enjoy those random spurts of joy and uncontrollable laughter.
As a student, learning from quarantine has its perks and perils.
However it is important to leverage the situation and turn it into something that further aligns with our goals, academic, career or professional wise.
By practicing these tips while following the necessary guidelines for control and prevention of COVID-19, one may attain value by finding a silver lining in a dark sky and avoid a stumbling block in his/her academic pursuit.
Connect with others, and with yourself. Breathe in, breath out. You’ve got this.
What are some of the setbacks you witnessed? Let us know in the comment section down below.