As university students ourselves, we know that this can be a difficult and trying time for those studying during a pandemic. Your zoom lecture is glitching, you’ve barely had a chance to meet everyone on your course and the temptation of studying from your bed is now greater than ever. A couple of us are currently doing our Master’s so we’ve had plenty of years to acquire the best studying tips. Throwing a pandemic into the mix hasn’t been easy for us either, that’s why we’ve decided to share with you our top tips for studying during a pandemic.
Download a to do list app
Your workload can seem overwhelming and with more time spent at home it appears that lecturers are handing out even more work (Please...just stop). Getting yourself a to do list app and structuring your days will help keep everything manageable. Our current favourite is Todosit (you can get it for both your phone and laptop!) but there are plenty of other great recommendations out there.
Create a study structure
Studying from home can push you into overdrive. You feel like you’ve got more time and should therefore be constantly studying but try to avoid pushing yourself too hard or you’ll end up burning out. Set yourself limits and create a study structure. We suggest not starting as soon as you wake up. Instead, take your time to enjoy your breakfast before you dive into work. Similarly, don’t work right until you go to sleep. Set yourself a few hours of downtime where you can relax and enjoy a hobby before you get into bed.
Study similar things on the same day
Switching from task to task can interrupt your workflow and render you unproductive. That's why we suggest scheduling the same type of work on the same day. For example, studying for a specific module on a specific day instead of bouncing from assignment to assignment. Make sure to pencil in certain times for checking your email too as opposed to constantly going back and forth to see if there’s something new you have to reply to. Taking certain days (or parts of the day) off for house-related chores helps too as opposed to doing your laundry as you study as it can be difficult to concentrate on multiple things at once. Believe us, we know how tempting it is to try and multi-task...we’ve all tried it too.
Set up virtual study groups
Studying by yourself can get pretty overwhelming and seeing as it’s harder to meet people in real life, this is probably a good time to make the most of the internet by setting up virtual study groups with your friends. You can split the work or discuss lectures, helping you get a better grasp on concepts and nailing your degree.
Keep in contact with your lecturers
It can be hard getting to know your lecturers personally through zoom so make an effort to keep in contact with them. Keep your camera on during lectures and ask them about their day. After all, they’re human too. This will help them get to know you better and will create better rapport so that when you need help, it’ll seem less daunting contacting them. Also, if you happen to have questions, send them through even outside of their office hours as they’ll nowadays have a bit more time to reply to you. But again, make sure to be polite and respectful; it’s a tough time for everyone.
Turn your notifications off
Turn your phone and laptop notifications off (easier said than done, we know). There’s nothing less distracting than being interrupted by messages as you’re doing your readings. If you’re having an extra hard time with this one, leave your phone in the kitchen or in a drawer for the duration of your studying. You can then enjoy a few hours of uninterrupted studying followed by some well-deserved downtime.
We hope that you’ll get something out of our tried and tested uni student wisdom. Finally: go easy on yourself. It’s natural to get anxious during your degree and a pandemic wasn’t something any of us signed up for. Uni workloads can be daunting enough without the added stress of having to speak up during a zoom lecture (our tip for that one is uhh...just to pretend your wifi is down). Make sure to keep in touch with us on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to find out more student life tips and other fun content. If you enjoyed this post let us know what your favourite studying tip is in the comments and make sure to check out our previous post where we delve deeper into how UniMate got started and what CEO Charlotte’s favourite night out is (was).