Many of us who endured the rapid transition to online studies during the emergence of COVID-19 might feel like we’re hanging by a thread during this pandemic. And for those who had hoped to return to university as I do, we might be dreading another semester of online classes as the pandemic continues across the world.
I’m certain we’ve all got divided opinions when it comes to online learning. While some of us rejoice at the thought of not having to wake up early and face the commute to morning classes, some of us feel stressed out about the massive workload that’s going to befall upon us as a result.
For those like myself, online learning is one of the least appealing methods of learning, and it was a really difficult adjustment for me.
Here are a few pointers I’ve learned during the uncertainty to help you manage the stress and anxiety through a semester of online studies during COVID-19.
1. Plan and prepare for your classes
I can already hear a collective groan but hear me out. Keeping up with online classes takes a whole load of stress off your shoulders.
When my university migrated to online platforms during the first wave of the pandemic, I remember procrastinating for weeks. I reasoned with myself that I’d be able to catch up eventually since all the materials were available online.
2. Talk to friends and family
Uni friends are half the reason that makes university life memorable. Although for many of us it’s not possible to connect with them face to face or socialise the way we have before the pandemic, we can still connect with them through regular calls or video meetups to talk about classes or just about anything.
It’s also harder to retain a sense of university spirit when you’re not on campus. Thankfully, many university events have shifted digitally, so you can still join student union groups, clubs, events and activities to keep connected with your peers and your university community.
Talk to your family as well. Share your worries and anxieties about the semester with them. Talking openly about the issues that stress you out can be a breather after spending a long day before the laptop screen.
3. Reach out to professors for help whenever necessary
Although professors and tutors seem to constantly pump out video lectures, face-to-face tutorials, assignments and other activities, they’re very aware of the situation we’re in. Chances are, they’re also trying to beat the COVID blues as well.
Hence, they might be open to have a conversation with you and will be receptive if you take the first step to reach out. So, don’t hesitate to seek assistance or advice when you need it.
4. Look after your physical health
The ultimate reason for lockdowns, restrictions and mandatory quarantine is to safeguard our health. And staying glued to our laptop and cellphone screens within the four walls of our room for extended periods of time is detrimental to our mental and physical wellbeing.
Therefore, it’s essential to eat healthy, do some stretching or exercises every day. Most importantly, maintain a regular sleeping pattern to wake up fresh and perform tasks for the day.
Whether we like it or not, COVID -19 is not going anywhere, at least not for a while. The key is to adapt, prepare and adjust to the ‘new normal’ to get through your studies. Remember to remind yourself that help is readily available whenever you need it, and rest assured this too shall pass.