Studying from home by Ishani Dutta

Hey everyone! Firstly, I hope you and your family are all staying safe during this very tough time. It feels a bit weird to be writing about my final term at Lancaster, from home. But, as I slowly come to terms with it all, I thought I’d share about my experiences with work, home life and staying sane.

First bit of normality that I am getting during this stay at home life, is through my phone. I think we are all guilty of complaining about technology, especially our phones taking over our lives. But right now, my phone is the primary medium through which I am able to talk to my friends and stay in touch. I would urge you to drop a quick message to check up on those friends and/or housemates you have not heard from in a while. Your quick text could make all the difference.

Every Friday night, some of my friends and I have organised the ‘virtual pub quiz’. This does really give me something to look forward to every week and keeps me motivated. And if anything, I will come out of this lockdown as the pub quiz queen, a mind full of random facts! Planning calls like these also gives you a fun way to socialise with your friends and maintain some sort of normality. Other than that, I try to put my phone down as much possible, especially to resist from posting too many throwback pictures on Instagram. It is very easy to sit and endlessly scroll where you feel ‘connected’, yet very disconnected. I don’t think social media is bad at all, but like everything, it should be consumed in moderation.

With work, this was a challenge for sure. I read somewhere that –  we are not working from home. We are at home, trying to work. It is completely normal to feel unproductive or unmotivated during this time. Some of the tips I have (that I try to incorporate as much as possible) is giving yourself some structure. I am a morning person. I feel my most energetic with a coffee, dressed for the day in the morning. I give myself few hours in the morning to work and then that’s me done for the day. Most of my friends don’t relate with me and hate early mornings – which is also ok. If you are also a night owl, do your work in the evenings, and spend the mornings relaxing, getting some exercise or just enjoying a good old Netflix binge.  Currently, I am only working on my dissertation, so this system works for me because if I look at my work for too long, words stop making sense to me. If you have tight deadlines, I would recommend structuring your time in a way so that your work is completed 24 hours before the deadline. This way you don’t feel rushed and stressed at the end, and if you are ‘behind on schedule’ you still have that 24 hour allowance period. If you are struggling with the content of work, I would use this time to stay in touch with your department. Although we can’t see them face to face. They are there for you. Whether it can be talked about over email or organising a video call for a quick discussion, the support system at Lancaster is still in intact. So do reach out.

Don’t be hard on yourself. You don’t have to be productive 24/7. We are all trying to do our best, and that is all you can do!