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Studying From Home: What our students are doing

With learning moving online during the coronavrius outbreak, all of our students have been adjusting to this new way of attending university. So we asked our Social Media Ambassadors to tell us how they are dealing with studying from home.

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Ellie, BSc (Hons) Psychology

Ellie WFH 300x200 - A desk with rainbow highlighters and a laptop on it

This last week has been a period of confusion for all because there has never been a situation like it. However, I’ve found that keeping a tidy, organised space has boosted my motivation and limited procrastination, while I’ve been studying at home. Often, I try to wake up for 8:30 am, but often won’t get out of bed until 9:00 am.

I will then get ready for the day, including wearing clothes that I would normally wear to Uni. I work in my room, so I will often make my bed and keep a tidy, designated workspace (facing away from my bed) so that I’m not tempted to go back to sleep or work from my bed – the making of the bed also helps with this because I don’t want to mess it up again.

Making a schedule has also been beneficial. If you are at home like me at the moment, you may have home-life responsibilities as I do to ‘earn your keep’ so I have scheduled in time slots to help my Mum with washing up, laundry, cooking and tidying. It takes some of the stress off of her as well, because we have a busy household at the moment. I also try and make my room into a ‘zen’ area around 9-10 pm to try and calm my mind before I try to sleep after a busy day of coordinating.

Usually, I’ll do this by lighting incense and playing soft ‘plinky-plonky’ music. I’ve also ordered yoga supplies from MYGA Yoga (using my 25% yoga society discount) in the hopes, I will take time out of my day to commit to exercise – not sure how that will go yet.


Katie, BA (Hons) Marketing

Katie WFH 300x200: Countryside pathSince moving back home from university due to the current Covid-19 situation, it has taken me a little while to settle into a new ‘lockdown’ WFH routine. Due to being in my final year, one of the key things for me is trying to be as productive and motivated as possible – especially with being inside 24/7!

I thought it might be useful to compile some of the things that have been working for me into a list in the hope you might find something useful too. Here are my top tips:

Exercise!

I have found it useful to make time for exercise during the week to keep me in a positive mindset and help to boost my energy levels, whether that’s following a home workout video or doing a bit of yoga. Alongside studying, I have found taking an afternoon walk outside gives me something to look forward to. Seeing as we are restricted to one exercise outing a day, I try to make full use of that to get some steps and fresh air into my day to break it up.

Routine!

With deadlines pending I need to stay as productive as possible, so I have been trying to be vigilant with myself and get up at the same times during the weekdays to keep my body in its usual wake/sleep routine. But don’t worry, I make sure to lie in at the weekends to catch up with myself and still get that ‘weekend feeling’.

Plan, plan, plan!

I am a planner by nature but even more now than ever I have been using time blocking to complete tasks and try to stay on track for each of my deadlines. I have found it useful to have a weekly and daily goal to motivate myself to be productive. Also scheduling in some time for fun things such as baking or FaceTiming a relative keeps me in a positive mindset.


Conor, BSc (Hons) Accounting

It’s been three weeks since the university closed due to Covid-19. This is a somewhat unusual time for students, something that we have never experienced before. During my first week of studying from home I completely lost my routine. I began to wake up later and doss my way through the day. I had to quickly snap out of this as it’s my final year and these next 2 months are crucial. I decided to set a structure up in the second week using google calendar. This helped me prioritise my work and plan my working days. I’ve now set aside time to work on different modules and tasks that I must do!

It’s important to make sure that you’re including breaks and times to switch off when planning your timetable. I have started exercising 3 times a week to keep active, communicating with family and friends via phone, video chat and games and taking time to do the things I enjoy doing in my spare time. I feel much more productive and organised in my second week and I will continue to have this routine through the next few weeks. My lecturers have been supportive via email and Microsoft teams and I have been kept in the loop about the changes happening at BCU.


Tinashe, BA (Hons) Business

With so many stuck indoors, the readjustment of working from home seems natural for a procrastinating student. However, the change from face to face teaching to online classes and meetings is a good incentive and reminder for students to do their work.

The Start of Lockdown:

The beginning of the lockdown seemed to affect very little for me. Most routines seemed the same until I assessed the severity of the situation. With our beloved pubs and gyms closed, and the university of course, this left very little to do and suddenly I was lost. I spent much of my days wondering when this would end whilst I indulged in games and a lot of sleep. This eventually got boring and left me with no other option but to focus on what matters the most, my uni work. Slowly but surely, the assignments are being completed and the extensions on hand in dates have alleviated some pressure giving more time to work at ease.

The Now:

I've now familiarised myself with somewhat a routine:

  • Anywhere between 6:50 and 10:30 - Waking up to some reading
  • 11:00-12:00 – Job hunting
  • 12:00-14:00 – Doing some uni work
  • 15:00-17:00 – Working on Assignments
  • 19:00-19:30 – Daily Run
  • Anywhere between 21:00-23:00– Gaming

The most exciting thing I look forward to is a weekly shop. This presents an opportunity to dress up, go out and socialise for 2 minutes at the till, and most importantly an opportunity to maintain the practices of social distancing.

The Future:

With no real indication of when the lockdown will end, I am taking this time to cherish those around me, find new hobbies and engage with all the activities I thoroughly enjoyed but did not pursue. The art pencils have come out and since I am stuck at my house accommodation with 2 other friends, I might even learn how to play the guitar.

Safe to say, I have not run out of things to do and I am hoping that this much needed ‘‘free time’’ will be used for all things beneficial. While I may not make any promises on what I will achieve during lockdown, I do promise to appreciate every moment outside once the lockdown measures have been lifted.


Nafisa, LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology

Studying from home has been such a struggle! It took me a while to find a comfortable routine and even then I still slip into bad habits of sleeping at 4am and waking up at 2pm. But please don’t stress if you have bad habits or a bad routine! You can easily fix this or make some adjustments!! My friend and I came up with a routine where we aim to wake up between 8am-9am and we do this by calling each other in the mornings (this forces us to wake up), and we also put our alarms away from our beds so we have to get up to turn it off.

Usually I go for a morning run (since all the gyms are closed), so I don’t usually start my work until 2pm and I work in blocks. So around 5pm I take a break and I’ll pick my work back up around 9pm and aim to head to bed for 11pm. Of course this changes and fluctuates but I do try to fit in minimum 2 hours of work. This might not seem like a lot but in hindsight you can get a lot done once you’re focused. Some people work in the mornings or evenings and others work in intervals of half an hour to an hour. Do whatever suits you! Also make sure to take a break day (don’t overwork yourself!!). 

Also, a quick tip, I would advise working at a table or desk. Avoid working on the sofa or on your bed (you’ll end up falling asleep or scrolling through Netflix). Sometimes I work at my dining table but if it gets really loud with everyone being at home, I’ve set up a desk in my room so I can work in a quieter environment. Another tip is I would suggest (even to those who believe they “work better at night”) to start your day early, the earlier the better and you’ll feel a lot more productive. It’s really hard with everything going on to stay focused on your uni work but the quicker you snap into a routine best suited to you, the quicker you can get your workload out the way!! 

Best of luck to everyone with remaining assessments/exams/deadlines!


Laura, BA (Hons) Black Studies

At present I’m currently keeping to the same days and listening to the audio lecture slides in the intended lecture slot as best I can.

We have all signed up to Microsoft Teams and are having seminars remotely once a week in some of the modules, which is really helpful. Seeing the lecturer's face and having the ability to interact and ask questions is key.


Alex, BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology 

Since being in self-isolation, I have had more time to improve the structure of my studying. I have formed a routine to make sure that I start doing my work at noon by the latest, and finish at 8:00pm everyday. One thing I always make sure to do is work for 45-55 minutes, then have a break 5-20 minutes; I think this works great!