Great tips for adjusting back to in-person study

By Joey (Student Blogger: BSc Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics (MORSE))

How has life been for the first few weeks of the semester? Have you adjusted yourself back to in-person study? For me, not really! I am still struggling with the mode of having face-to-face lectures, workshops, and seminars. I am missing the days when there were only four to five online sessions a week. I just needed to get out of my bed, turn on my computer and attend. No make-up, no proper dress code required. On the other hand, I missed the university so much – course mates, the relaxing and comforting environment, the amazing library…

Here are some tips for you to adjust yourself back to in-person study.

Firstly, get yourself prepared both physically and mentally. After a year of blended or online learning mode, and months of summer break, you should now get yourself prepared for getting back into the “learning mode”. Think about what you want to gain and experience when back to the university physically – establishing new social networks, learning a new language, or trying new types of sports. Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new, you can surely benefit from it. You may learn more about yourself, grow personally or even find a dream!  For international students, pay attention to the difference in weather and environment to avoid getting sick.

Secondly, don’t push yourself too hard and bear in mind to maintain a work-life balance. Usually, you cannot get back into the right mode immediately. Do give yourself some time to accommodate and adjust your pace. You don’t need to force yourself to be “perfect”. It’s alright to be imperfect. Just focus on yourself! On the other hand, do consider the balance between social and academic. Do not make your schedule packed. Remember to leave some time for yourself to think – understand your emotions and the reasons behind them and figure out what approaches you should take to deal with the situations or problems.

Thirdly, grab a daily planner if necessary. When returning to the university physically, I thought I would not need a daily planner at first, but my thought was a mistake! I used to mark all my schedule, things to do on my mobile, and it worked. Unfortunately, I overestimated myself and underestimated the tasks that I was now required to accommodate. If you are an absent-minded person like me, I highly recommend you have a daily planner or a to-do list (daily, weekly and monthly). It helps you not to miss deadlines and make yourself deal with matters more systematically.

If you have come across any issues which are out of your control, remember there is always somebody you can get help from and chat with.  If you need advice on friendships, relationships, where to get information on housing, finances, or academic issues, you can contact the College Advisory Teams (CAT Teams). You can also book a one-off appointment to talk through any issues you have come across through the Let’s Talk service. The service is booked by phone. No self-referral is required.

Structuring your Academic Life

Structure Blog Picture

By Azizan (Student Blogger: BSc Hons Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics)

After a long period of lockdown full of restrictive measures, most of us are excited to finally have in-person classes and activities as we enter the new 2021/22 Academic Year. Other than your classes, you might be inclined to join some of the societies and public events scheduled over the academic year. This is a great time to finally reconnect and make new connections within the University’s population. However as more and more activities are being introduced each day, it is normal for us to struggle to balance our limited time given the various attractive activities being offered, on top of our classes and given assignments/coursework. Here are some tips that might be useful in structuring your academic life.

Make full use of a Calendar/Planner

Most of us find the Timetable feature on the iLancaster App to be convenient as it allows us to check when our classes are and where the venue is. Consider using your phone’s inbuilt calendar/planner App to write down all your leisure/meetings/meet-up/social plans along with their time and venue. Some Apps allow you to synchronise all your calendars, allowing you to have a better overview of your classes and your recreational plans through a ‘centralised’ calendar. Through this way, you will be able to plan out your day more efficiently and, hopefully, you won’t miss out on your classes or meet-ups!

Break your day into ‘time blocs’

Once in a while, it is tempting for us to overwork ourselves until late at night. This however restricts us from enjoying our leisure time, which can affect our productivity and performance in the near future if done repeatedly. Consider dividing your days into time blocs, let say 8.05 – 8.30 am, 9.35 – 11 am and so on. For each time bloc, assign it to categories: academic, leisure, personal, etc. By doing so, you have set up a boundary for what and when you will be doing your work or when is your rest. It is also a good way to track whether you’re meeting your personal needs or not.

Focus only on a Main Task each day

Many times, when we have too many works assigned to us, we tend to try to complete them all at once by multitasking. However, this is not a good practice, as our concentration is not at its optimum as our mind struggles to divide between the various tasks. By setting a main task at one time and sticking to it, you’re more likely to be productive and able to contribute considerable progress rather than splitting it into small progress for various tasks. In a sense, it will help to complete your task much quicker compared to the alternative.

Stay Grounded

As days progress, we tend to lose touch with time and reality – we’re so ‘invested’ in our work/responsibilities that we fail to notice what’s happening around us. It is important for us to step back once in a while and be present in the moment to appreciate the blessings surrounding us. This helps to prevent us from overstretching on our work beyond our allocated time, allowing us to rest and recover both physically and mentally. A good way to stay grounded is to utilise all of our 5 senses – touch, sight, smell, hearing and taste. This will have a positive impact on your wellbeing.

Integrating a well-refined structure into your everyday life has plentiful benefits. It gives you certainty, and restores a sense of order in your life. Most importantly, having a structure allows you to navigate your day with ease!

Taking the First Step Outside

By Azizan Anas (Student Blogger: BSc Hons Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics)

As the majority of the academic year is online-based due to the ongoing pandemic, and most of us are confined to a small, limited hybrid space of our personal rest area and workstation (we also call it our bedroom), we often overlook the outdoors. Watching pre-recorded lectures, attending workshops and tutorials and communicating with groupmates through an online platform can all be done from our room now. This can be both advantageous and harmful: a double-edged sword of a learning format.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you went out to simply enjoy the outdoors or do physical activities, that was not because of groceries/commuting?

In full honesty, between March and December I barely did any exercise or went outdoors; most of my time was spent in my uni bedroom, watching lecture videos, attending seminars, doing coursework and attempting practice questions, as well as going to the communal kitchen to socialise with my flatmates. If I got too bored studying in my room, I would alternate the library or the shared kitchen for a change of scenery. Going outdoors or doing exercise, however, wasn’t a part of my routine.

One day, I saw an Instagram Story by the Malaysian Society about the 27 27 challenge, organised by the charity Mind. The challenge was to run 27 miles in 27 days during March 2021 while fundraising in solidarity with the 27% of students who report mental health issues while in university. It was a perfect opportunity for me to move on from my sedentary lifestyle. I was trapped in my room most of the time for the past 2 months simply because I didn’t find any incentive to go outside. It was too cold at that time since it was still the Winter season.

My coping mechanism to relieve stress has changed. From resorting to binge-watching Netflix while eating snacks as a form of unwinding from work – to now going for a short jog around campus. I feel much more satisfied and happier being able to take care of my physical wellbeing as well as my mental wellbeing while at the same time running for a good cause. There are plentiful benefits associated with going outdoors and doing physical activities such as improving your sleep pattern, improving your physical and mental wellbeing, reducing stress and so on.

The first step is always the hardest, but the following steps are easy to follow if you pass through the first obstacle. Exercise can lead to feelings of satisfaction, a sense of achievement, and being more cheerful. All that can be part of your day, you just need to take a step away from your room. All it takes is the willingness, and strength to go outdoors. What is important is to develop a sustainable habit that can help you to achieve this.

Go out and take a walk 15 minutes each day for a week; force yourself if you have to. The key to a successful sustaining habit is not to expect an immediate outcome but rather to see an improvement of at least 1% each time. It is no use to all of a sudden go for an extreme distance/time that you find too challenging, putting yourself off from doing it again. It is important to start slowly to make your desired habit of walking feasible, easy and satisfying. Depending on your progress at the end of the week, consider heightening the base mark to a higher level (at a moderate increase). In the end, you’ll be able to take going outdoors as a natural stress reliever full of benefits you will look forward to. You can reward yourself as well to keep you on track (an example is to get yourself a doughnut from Greggs if you walked at least 5 days a week!)

May is the National Walking Month in the UK. Take this as an opportunity to start and grow the habit of living an active way of life. To encourage people to cultivate this healthy lifestyle, Living Streets (the UK charity for walking) has a pledge on their website where they will share with you how many miles you will walk, how many calories you’ll burn and how much CO2 you will save depending on how many short walk you pledged for the week (A short walk is defined as a mile or 15-20 minutes of walking). I believe that by cultivating this habit of going outdoors and doing physical activities, we will be more prepared to take our summer exams much better, and more mentally prepared to engage.

Four tips for motivation in lockdown

By James (Student blogger: BA Politics and International Relations)

Motivation has become an increasingly prevalent issue that I think all students and staff are struggling with at this time of year. When the dark clouds roll in at 4 pm, it seems to be permanently raining, and we are all feeling drowsy and tired with lockdown, of course our motivation will be affected. I know I have struggled with motivation this term. However, I have found a few things that have made me more productive, and maybe they can help you too.

  1. Sleep. Are you tired of hearing about the benefits of sleep? I know I am, but the importance cannot be understated. With the nights drawing in and all of us already feeling tired with lockdown, insufficient sleep will affect our motivation. Who can work when they have no energy?! So, making sure we get a good night’s sleep and getting up at a reasonable time can only help our energy levels and motivate us.
  2. Exercise. Yet again, this is something we all get told to do. Honestly, when I hear the word exercise, I roll my eyes. I do not enjoy it. But, with that being said, exercise has helped me feel more awake through the day and more energised to do work. Even just starting to go for a short 20 minute run a day has helped clear my mind and get in the right mindset for a good few hours of work.
  3. Do not overwork yourself. I know that me and many others are guilty of trying to make up for feeling unproductive by cramming as much as humanly possible into the day. However, I have found out through experience that this only causes tiredness and a lack of motivation over the next few days. So, make sure you don’t cram and wear yourself down all in one day!
  4. Finally, don’t put off work! Honestly, at the start of term, I was very much guilty of this. I would continuously put off work till tomorrow, then the day after, then the day later. This only causes issues as you end up feeling like you are being crushed by the amount of work you must do, which, in turn, affects your mood and motivation to do work. Not putting off work can massively help your mood as you don’t feel behind and this can help you in general with motivation in the future!

I have found that these four key things helped me with mood and productivity during this term; I hope they prove useful!

The importance of work-life balance

By Tsz Yan (Student Blogger: MSc Business Analytics)Balancing Stones

We all know that study is a difficult but important task for most of us. Therefore, some people put all their time into study so as to achieve better academic performance. However, this belief is misleading and may harm our academic performance in the long term. Indeed, having a good work-life balance is a more appropriate way for our study or even life journey.

Firstly, a good work-life balance is able to improve our mental health and therefore academic performance. Whilst studying, we are easily getting to a stage of “burnout” and “stress”. In this stage, your study capability and productivity will decrease because you might feel you can’t understand what you are studying. Therefore, there is a need to take a rest. Try to go outside and have a walk, or chat with your friends/ family members, or even sleep. This will help you to eliminate negative thinking and refresh yourself. As a result, you may “suddenly” understand the knowledge you didn’t understand previously and therefore enhance your study efficiency. To conclude, a good work-life balance is able to improve our mental health and therefore academic performance.

Secondly, a good work-life balance is able to improve our physical health and therefore academic performance. But what does this mean? It means that we need to do exercise regularly. Exercise is really important and can support our study by helping us to perform better academically. Imagine what would happen if you only concentrated on study without doing any exercise, you would have relatively weak physical health. When you have relatively weak physical health, it is easy for you to feel exhausted or even become ill. In this stage, you are not able to focus on your study due to your body status. Therefore, it proves that exercising is needed in your study life in order to enhance your study efficiency and effectiveness. To conclude, a good work-life balance is able to improve our physical health and therefore academic performance.

In fact, we should think more broadly on the benefit of having a good work-life balance. Not only can it improve your academic performance in the short term, but it can also help you build up interpersonal relationships and broaden your horizons. In our studying life, we should go outside to make new friends with different people. We can share a different opinion on any issue and sometimes they may even have some insight on particular things we don’t know. Discussion and communication with friends can help you to broaden your horizons, which may indirectly help you to solve any academic difficulty you face. On the other hand, building up interpersonal relationships can also have benefits not only for your study but also for your life journey in facing any circumstances (such as difficult work situations later in life), since they may provide different angles and insights on these issues and help you face these challenges. To conclude, a good work-life balance is able to improve our study and even life journey.

To sum up, it is essential to maintain a good work-life balance. Firstly, it can help you to improve your mental and physical health so as to improve your academic performance. Secondly, it can help you to build up interpersonal relationships and broaden your horizons so as to improve your academic performance and even life journey. Therefore, I encourage you to have your own work-life balance. Good Luck with your study and life journey!

Balancing Time

Image created by Azizan Anas

By Azizan Anas (Student Blogger: BSc Hons Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics)

“Every second is of infinite value” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Time is a special finite resource that can’t be traded or created. Each of us is given an unknown different amount of time. As such, it is important to spend our limited time wisely and qualitatively as we can’t retract and change what has gone. Nowadays, a student has to balance their personal life, their studies, and their work, as well as their social life. With all the distractions and increasing workloads a student obtains as days pass, it is common to struggle when rationing time. This struggle can lead to stress and opportunity cost as deciding which opportunity to do can result in the sacrifice of another. Here are some tips on balancing your time.

Identify and work on your priorities

Some tasks are important and have to be done immediately. These can be assignments as well as your assigned tasks in team projects that are due soon. It is highly recommended to work on important tasks first, ideally starting as soon as you first receive them. Try to work on them each day, no matter how small your progress is. This is to avoid panic and stress from tasks accumulating as a result of procrastinating. After all, small progress is much better than not doing anything at all. In the end, you should have enough time to proofread and check on your work with the ample amount of time you now have at your disposal.

Create a schedule

Start your day by writing down all the tasks you need to do. Then, split them into 3 categories:

  1. Urgent and Important;
  2. Not Urgent but Important;
  3. Less Important.

The idea is to focus on doing things based on their ranking of significance and priority. By doing so, you can have a rough idea of how you need to spend your time each day. This way, you can plan your day ahead in the morning and use the schedule as a point of reference to ensure that you’re on track with what you need to do.

A 55 minutes study session is a great idea, with a 5 minutes break in between (25-5-25 rule). Our brain cannot handle too much information in one go, so it is good to spend some time unwinding like making yourself a cup of tea, stretching your body or doing simple chores.

If you’re on your personal computer every day, consider looking into free ‘To-do list’ widgets such as the one in Microsoft Outlook. This way you can keep track of what you have been doing and whether you have accomplished it or not. Another useful widget to get is a timer app. I am using OnePomodoro, a time-management application that can make you more focused and efficient in doing your job. Personally, this is useful for me as sometimes I lose track of time and since I am always on my laptop, I often get eye strain. The app will send you a reminder to take a break after every work session (25 minutes) and during this time I will move around to help combat my unhealthy sedentary lifestyle and eye strain.

Avoid multi-tasking

Multi-tasking can be tempting, especially to those who have lots of responsibilities, as a way to reduce total time spent. However, not everyone is successful in it resulting in them experiencing more stress and taking a much longer time to finish. Thus, it is better to focus fully on each incomplete task before moving onto another one.

A big no-no of multi-tasking is doing two activities that require your mental focus at the same time. It is not practical to do so as your attention span will constantly jump from one different topic to another, making you unable to maximise your thinking, which could be counter-productive.

Remember your own ‘me’ time

Once in a while, it is common to have your work so piled up that you feel as though you have to use all of your time to finish it. It is a good habit to be so dedicated but sometimes you deserve some time off for yourself! Go out and have fun: go for a walk, have a tea break with a friend, devote some time off to doing your hobby or enjoy watching Netflix.

Striving and pushing yourself for perfection is good, however to be able to do your work with enough time to maintain a proper well-balanced lifestyle is better. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned and that’s a reality we have to face. Perfectionism can be harmful if you are pushing yourself beyond your limit. As important as your work is, your health and especially your mental wellbeing during this challenging time should be of the highest priority.

To be productive is something good to strive for. However, this doesn’t mean that you should constantly devote all your time to work/learning. Don’t try to squeeze everything in one go. Don’t try to pressure yourself. Without this realisation, you can overwork yourself and this can affect your performance in the end. Having a proper balanced lifestyle can make you productive without compromising your wellbeing. The key for a successful healthy lifestyle is to be disciplined and make it a habit; that can only be forged by doing it repeatedly and willingly to the point your brain registers the routine as a norm in its system. So, make sure to have your day off so you can be energized next time!

The struggle is real

By Manuella (Student blogger: Economics and International Relations)

I have often heard the saying the struggle is real, then I begin to wonder; “the struggle is real, so what?” “What are you going to do about the struggle?” “How are you adapting to the struggle?” “Is it making you stronger?” “Or have you given up?” I guess these questions overwhelm us all, especially in this recent pandemic. As human beings, we evolve best by adapting to situations- so it’s no surprise that online learning has become the next best thing for us students. Nevertheless, I hope I can confidently say that, it has been a struggle for us all. It is quite intriguing to know that, this is not only the case for us students but for all stakeholders in our Universities. That being said, I am going to write five simple ways in which the struggle has been real for most, if not all of us.

  1. The Struggle to learn

Let’s cast our minds to a time before COVID-19, we all miss that period, but we could all agree that sometimes learning was a struggle then. It was the time we had to choose between social gatherings and staying in to burn the midnight candle. Now, so far gone, we are in a time when staying in is the best option. Yet, we can all admit that doing other things before study time has become the new dilemma. How do you pick an hour of full time learning over a new Netflix release? Or would you prefer a TikTok video to research work? All the same, it has been a struggle, and trust me, you’re not the only one going through it. I guess this is where discipline overrides being reluctant. You may not be alone, but you definitely could find other ways to make it work. So yes, the struggle is real, but you are able.

  1. The struggle to stay motivated

Motivation is another thing I do not frankly understand, especially motivational speakers. How can they be so sure that what they did will work for everyone? It is not a one-size-fits-all life, because we are all different in our own way and we see and react to things quite differently too. So the subject of motivation is a personal one, however, you have to (MUST) figure out what keeps you going. Obviously it ranges from a variety of things so I cannot tell you what they are specifically. I will however give you this thought; for a second, imagine having all your goals accomplished, the joy and satisfaction of it all- and simply run with that feeling all year round. Trust me, it works. So yes, the struggle is real, but you are stronger.

  1. The Struggle to be efficient

Efficiency could mean anything from organization, productivity, to just mastering a skill. Honestly, it is okay to just stay alive and have some form of routine. It doesn’t have to be perfect. As far as uni work goes, just divide the work load into mini tasks, so you can accomplish them slowly. Little drops of water do make a mighty ocean. So yes, the struggle is real, but you are trying

  1. The struggle for a functional environment

A functional environment is simply a good vibes only environment, one in which you can actively function for being human. It is an environment in which you can have good and bad days. Lazy days and productive ones. And frankly, they seem like bare necessities (jungle book song in mind), but it is sometimes a struggle to find. So in all you do make sure you find good vibes; it makes this whole “new normal” thing easy going. So yes, the struggle is real, but your vibes are good.

  1. The struggle to be supported

A support system is healthy for us all, and could take any shape or form. Personally, I have found that having friends or acquaintances who can relate to you is a perfect balance especially for academic work. What this does is that in the end, these people in your support bubble are there for you, and as humans that is essentially what we need. So strive to have a support group. I have a group of people I go to, from goal setting, and for laughs and it is the best combination of accountability and a social life. So yes, the struggle is real but so are the people around you.


All in all, this Uni thing is hard, and adulting is no joke too. So cut yourself some slack. You are trying to survive a pandemic and gain an education. You are doing just fine. Take a break when you have to, and keep your goals in that same mind space. You will be just fine. So yes, the struggle is real, but so are you.

Why studying from home is actually decent…

By Safiya (Student blogger: BA English Literature)

‘Studying from home’ initially seemed so off-putting: from connectivity issues to lack of motivation due to being in your environment of leisure, virtual learning was not at all appealing. But sometimes you don’t need to think positively about something in order to enjoy it – you just need to experience it. And, after several weeks of studying online, I think many of us can say that this is actually not that bad.


Why studying from home is actually decent:

  1. There’s so much more time!

If anyone is a (now former) commuting student, you’ll have quickly realised how much time we now have! Balancing work and play was madness, and winging it was all I really did. But due to the lack of extra stress and super early get ups that often came with travelling, studying has never been more enjoyable.

  1. You can attend lectures/seminars from the comfort of your bed

Although it is advised to have a dedicated space for studying, especially whilst being at home, it wouldn’t be terrible to watch a lecture or two from your bed once in a while. You’re comfy, and you’re learning. Win-win.

  1. You can plan (most) of your studying around your own schedule

While seminars may have an allocated time, you can access the recorded lectures and reading materials at your own convenience. Early bird? Night owl? Schedule the lectures for whenever you want! If you want to minimise the number of ‘uni days’ you have, watch the lectures on the same day that you have the corresponding seminar. In this way, not only will the information remain fresh for discussion, but you will have more ‘free’ days for which you can dedicate other things! (P.S – if you’re in a hurry, you can speed your lectures up!)

  1. I’m…getting the reading done?!

Still can’t believe it. But, like aforementioned, due to the lack of travelling and extra stress, there is so much more time for work.

  1. Sleep schedule is now actually a schedule

Again, still can’t believe it. I used to be able to relate to every lack-of-sleep meme there was, but now they all seem like a distant memory.

Although online learning may still seem inconvenient and strange to some, it’s important to remember that this is new for almost everyone! And access to education, especially during a global pandemic, is definitely something we should truly appreciate.

Is 24/7 the new norm?

By Will (Student Blogger: BSc Hons Entrepreneurship and Management)

Wow, what a last few month’s hey? Feels like it’s been years, and that’s the problem for many of us. Time is molding into one undistinctive thing and our work lives are becoming ever interlinked with our personal space and activities. Our workspace is now our leisure space for most of the time, though this may seem efficient to some it presents a problem for many of us that it’s hard to differentiate when we should and shouldn’t be working. One of the great things about Lancaster University is the breadth of study spaces it has, from Cartmel study rooms on one side of campus to the health innovation campus on the other. In normal circumstances many of us relish the opportunity to rotate around campus and study under these different locations, constantly keeping the brain refreshed and environment exciting. However, circumstances are anything but normal now unfortunately, and for many of us these spaces are not longer accessible with our bedroom’s and houses the only places we can take refuge to both study and unwind. This is unfortunately not going to change for the foreseeable future, so how do we ensure we can still instigate a clear separation between our down time and work commitments?

My main recommendation is to work within clear and ‘normal’ defined hours. Most working people work between 9am and 5pm, and this is with good reason as it promotes a healthy sleep pattern and if followed through the week allows both Saturday and Sunday free for leisure. I write this blog for you now at 16:18pm on a Friday having started this morning at 9:12am, with a strict limit on myself to cease work at 17:00pm tonight and not resume until Monday 9am. This work schedule ensures I have adequate downtime at night to allow a restful sleep and early enough rising time to ensure that the workday is not wasted, and I have ample time to complete any work. Linked to this, is how it’s so easy to overlook the importance of the weekend and days off. This statement may initially seem novel, a university student that doesn’t have enough time off, is there such a thing? Well I would argue yes, however I do argue that we are poor at making our time off valuable and effective and resetting ourselves as it should be. Allowing the brain to relax, focusing on those interests we have and making time for others are all things we deserve to be doing every weekend. Whatever year or course we are studying, the amount of content is designed that we have free time, so if you feel that your weekends are too short or downtime not long enough. Ask yourself these questions; did I really start early enough today? Did I really finish early enough last night? Is my sleeping schedule that of a normal professional?

On the face of it, having a defined schedule and time limits on most aspects of our living may seem boring and frankly unnecessary. Take it from me however, this is the key to a much more successful university experience. Gone will be the days of all-nighters on assignments, hello to the time of unguilted leisure for the next 48 hours. University is a unique time when we both have the best times of our lives and experience some of the hardest work we must conquer. Allowing one’s self, the right mindset and time allocation is the best starting step we can all have to making the most of each and every day.

I Kind of Like Online Learning Now

By Sean (Student blogger: MSci Hons Computer Science)

Coffe, muffin and laptop on bed

Not gonna lie, when I first heard that we would be switching to an all-online curriculum, I cringed. I’d heard stories from my friends studying in other universities about how mind-numbingly painful online lectures were as their lecturers droned on and how crickets chirped each time their seminar leaders asked if “anyone else knew the answer”. Here we go, I thought, I’m going to lose all my interest and spark in my degree, drop out of university and end up homeless from the thousands of pounds of debt I have on my shoulders…

Two weeks in, however, and I kind of… like online lectures now? Put your pitchforks down and let me explain! While I do miss seeing my friends, taking the bus, being on campus, and the overall buzz of in-person classes, there are a few things I’ve learned to appreciate about their virtual counterparts.

1. I can go at my own pace
With everything being online, I don’t feel as much pressure from being able to access my academics from the comfort of my home. Sometimes, having to hop from class to seminar to lab in the span of 3 hours can be very tiring, and studying tends to be the last thing on my mind after the long bus ride home! We’re having none of that this year- spaced out classes and comparatively mellower days are giving me the break I need, all while maintaining the momentum of being in education.

2. Asking Questions
I don’t know about you, but the Q&A sessions in my lectures tend to either be crickets or dominated by the same two people every single lecture. Just the thought of having the whole lecture hall of 150 students turn to hear you squeak out what you probably think is a stupid question is enough to put most people off.
However, things seem to be changing with the introduction of Q&A sessions over call or over chat. I’ve definitely seen an increase in eager queries- and I’m finding it a lot healthier and more helpful with my understanding of the course material.

3. They’re absolutely convenient
Not having to physically commute to class is one of the best things to come out of this once you look past the “I don’t really feel present” part. I can wake up and immediately zip over to my desk to sit in for my 9am (or even better- just attend it in bed!). I save hours not having to wait for and get the bus to and from campus, which can very often kill my “study” mood. Not to mention: I’ve saved over £250 from not having to buy the 3-term bus pass- absolutely amazing.

I know online learning is a big change, and definitely a very unfamiliar one. However, every cloud has a silver lining- even if it’s switching to online curriculum during a global pandemic. Sometimes, we get so distraught with all the negatives that we end up overlooking the small wins right in front of us.

Stay safe, guys, and work hard!