This academic year is anything but “normal” or “routine.” Due to the obvious pandemic, this fall has been unlike any other, with certain classes being in-person or mixed-mode, and others being remote; the requirement to wear masks and maintain social distance; and limitations on gatherings. Some colleges offer all courses online, while others use a combination of in-person discussions and online learning.
Even if policies vary by state and college, many university students concur that pandemic learning presents multiple difficulties, which can be especially difficult for first-year students beginning their college life with COVID-19 restrictions in place.
Many students are experiencing increased feelings of isolation because they are unable to socialise and make connections as easily as they could before the pandemic. While courses online can provide students with more spare time, some students use this time to concentrate on things that divert attention from their learning. The pandemic has also increased the demand for internet access, which not all students have. The symptoms of cybersickness include nausea, dizziness, headaches, and sleepiness, which have become more common among students during the pandemic. So it is important to take care of yourselves and here are some fun things to do.
1. Improve existing friendships or, better yet, form new ones
I attend school for hours on my laptop several days a week, then do hours of homework on top of that. Going to the class used to provide me with a break from my computer screen, but now everything is done digitally. I become irritable and don’t feel my best on days when I do all of my work from home and have no meaningful interactions with others.
Dealing with isolation, increased screen time, and all of the uncertainty and frustration brought on by the pandemic can increase feelings of depression in students, with many believing they must face the predicament alone, which is not the case! Physical estrangement mustn’t lead to total social and mental estrangement. We have never lived in a more connected era, thanks to technological advancements. We must not be afraid to use this gift to be socially inventive.
2. Make the most of this time by looking for work!
I decided to make the most of the extra time I expected to have. I figured that because all of my classes were online, I could handle working multiple jobs — something I’d never done as a university student before.
Because of the pandemic, many jobs have become more flexible, and there are numerous excellent job opportunities for students. Consider volunteering. Because courses are now available online and can be tailored to students’ schedules, many students have taken on extra jobs or responsibilities in the hopes of spending less time on schoolwork. This may appear to be good time management, but it may ultimately harm academic performance. So make a plan for your time.
3. Study a language
I’m not proposing that you become fluent in The language by the end of the lockdown, but learning the fundamentals of a new language with apps like Duolingo can be a productive (and fun!) way to pass the time and keep your mind sharp. Understanding the fundamentals of sign language is a crucial skill to have, and British Sign Language is giving ‘pay what you can’ courses during the coronavirus pandemic to motivate more students to learn how to sign.
4. Exercise regularly
We are allowed to break lockdown for workouts for a reason – it is beneficial to both our physical and mental health. Exercise should be a part of your daily routine, whether you use it to get outside, relieve stress, or temporarily escape from relatives.
Despite personally enjoying dancing and cycling, I still believe that nothing beats a walk to clear your mind. If you’re having trouble getting started, there are a plethora of articles and resources available online to assist you. My quick mentions are digital exercise classes, goal setting, and Cure.fit and HealthifyMe are two apps that can help you with this.
5. Also, remember to study!
It’s all too easy to find yourself in a situation at home where work and play become indistinguishable. Work can spill into leisure time and leisure can leak into times when you should be studying because there is no change in environment, school bell, bus home, or any of the other things that signal a change inactivity.
Different students prefer different methods of learning, so consider what works best for you. For some, the simple question/answer format of flashcards allows for easy self-testing, whereas for others, the more visual form of the mind map is excellent for demonstrating how the various aspects of a topic are linked. Try to pay attention in those online classes, and maybe, just maybe, this isn’t the case.