Elizabeth Black, KBS’s brand new resident blogger, is a third year student studying a BSc in Management at Kent Business School. Here she reflects on the challenges faced by a year of homelearning and how she managed to stay motivated during this unprecedented time.
The past year has taught us that things we took for granted can be taken away all too quickly. For many, this has meant losing out on the university experience of new friendships, newfound independence and taking part in societies or a new sport.
As a result, this has elicited a new kind of experience – studying at home, which involves self-discipline and motivation. It is, and has been, a tough period for many – staff and students – by dealing with a new way of learning online to keep everyone safe, while delivering worthy content and an experience for students.
But how can we stay motivated when the university life we expected has been turned upside down? Here are my top tips for staying inspired when you’re stuck indoors…
Tips For Virtual Study
First and foremost, find a study space comfortable for you to feel productive. Ideally, this should be quiet with minimal distractions. If you can, set up in a different room from where you sleep. If it helps (and if you can), switch up your environment – try outside!
It is tempting to squeeze all your work in one day and chill for the week. But, to avoid burnout, try follow the calendar as you would if you were physically at university. Be online when most people are online, including your seminar leaders, lecturers, students and university staff, should you have any unexpected questions.
Like any activity or work, it is important to take regular breaks. In fact, MIT recommends taking study periods of 50 minutes with a 10-minute break. This may take a few weeks of amending to find out what is best for you (i.e. setting a timer, study apps).
Being a student at the University of Kent means you get free access to Microsoft packages! Take advantage of the tools available to help complete your assignments. On MS teams, you can use the calendar segment and chat with your peers quickly.
For some, finding out how well you work takes time. It is handy to practise this sooner, especially with upcoming exams. Some of you may be seeking a graduate job, so these qualities can help build the discipline you need to make sure you have the right foundations to adapt and react.
Recent statistics show 66 per cent of students’ mental health has been impacted severely as a result of the pandemic. It is a subject that is increasingly being talked about – which is why you should too. If you are feeling down, speak to someone: that could be a member of the KBS team, a friend, your seminar leader.
Studying from home can blur the lines between university work and your home life, so try and practise and maintain this self-discipline so you can switch off and relax. Try scheduling a call with friends, read a book, watch TV or simply go for a walk. This gives you the chance to reset and approach a new day feeling ready, refreshed and productive!
Hopefully these tips will help you feel somewhat more in control and organised with your work-from-home schedule. These can help keep you motivated, especially with good news round the corner that things will be opening up!