The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to have a major impact across the globe.
And as people around the world settle into the new way of studying and working from home wherever possible this blog has some great tips to help postgraduate students make a success of studying their postgraduate program at home rather than on campus.
Even if you’re not going to be seeing anyone IN REAL LIFE it’s still important to get up, get showered, brush your teeth and get dressed! This will help to wake you up and set you up properly for the day ahead, making you feel fully prepared for your studies.
Set a routine
OK, so you no longer have to catch the 9am bus to campus every day, but you still have lectures to attend. Even if these lectures are now being held online and not necessarily at set times, it’s still important to set yourself a routine to ensure you achieve your goals. Draw up a timetable at home to make sure you attend your lectures, have coffee breaks, take screen breaks, enjoy quiet study time, partake in PG research, etc.
Create a study space
Hopefully you already created a decent study space when you started your postgraduate program – but this study space is more important than ever now you are taking all of your classes at home. Make sure you have a clean and tidy dedicated study space away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of your house.
Know your limits
Don’t take on too much. We’re all adjusting to a new way of living. You may be thousands of miles away from your family or perhaps living in total isolation, alternatively, you may be absolutely fine and still able to live alongside your nearest and dearest – although chances are you’ve probably got a bit of cabin fever by now. Whatever your current postgraduate student circumstances are, try and know your limits and don’t expect too much of yourself in these challenging times.
Manage others' expectations
Similarly, it’s also important to manage the expectations of others. Your lecturers, tutors and fellow students are also living through these unprecedented times and will know that your study experience is going through quite a change at the moment. If you are struggling with the new normal, reach out and tell them – they will be able to help. Tutors may be able to offer you deadline extensions and your fellow students will be able to discuss shared experiences and offer you emotional support. And just because you are now at home all the time, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have loads more time on your hands, so don’t feel like you have to agree to attend every virtual quiz night, Zoom drinks or Houseparty on offer. Tell your friends and family what academic work you have to complete so they know when you’re busy and don’t put too much pressure on you to join in all of the virtual meet-ups.
Take time out
Remember that you do need to take some time out of your studies to relax – and this can sometimes be harder to enforce upon yourself when you are at home all the time. This is because there aren’t always natural breaks in the day to encourage you to take some downtime or simply grab a coffee and have a chat with a friend. It’s also a good idea to regularly schedule in some exercise to clear the mind and improve your overall health and wellbeing.