There’s so much uncertainty surrounding all aspects of life at the moment, and this definitely applies to those of us who returned to university in September. For those starting their first year, it’s even worse. Freshers’ week as we know it is a no-go this year and nobody’s had the chance to meet new people beyond their flat bubbles.
However, whilst it’s not the same uni experience we’d hoped for, there are still opportunities to have a good year in spite of everything. So, here are a few tips we’ve picked up over the recent weeks on how to survive a uni lockdown:
Self-motivation is hard in any situation but, for students who are literally locked in halls, it’s undeniably much harder. Despite paying six grand a year for the privilege, the rooms are small and cramped, and it’s not easy working at a desk just metres away from your bed…
Make sure you’re rewarding yourself for tasks you’ve completed; these rewards can be as simple as watching a movie after getting through a lecture you’ve been dreading, or buying a box of Celebrations to indulge in after a bout of productivity. They’re both great pick-me ups when you’re struggling with motivation, and you can share the choccies or film with your flatmates to help lift your collective spirits.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a lecturer, or your mum (I know we all went to uni for a taste of freedom), but you should take pride in your planning. This doesn’t just have to focus on studying, but also time for your favourite sport or activity, or even just finding time in the day for playing games with your friends! The best part of being organised is that it creates time when you would otherwise feel unproductive, and possibly a bit guilty. Get organised, and profit from the sense of satisfaction a proper schedule gives you.
Under lockdown restrictions, planning is more crucial than ever as you can’t even meet your friends for drinks without rigorous coordination. Therefore, plan your work, get it done and make sure you free up your evenings for some proper free time.
There are so many resources out there to help make your lockdown uni experience a lot more bearable. If you need a helping hand, make sure you check out what your uni has to offer and don’t ever feel shy about creating contacts early on. Get your essays checked, go on (online) referencing courses, meet with mental wellbeing officers, take advantage of the library and do whatever else you need to do to get through. We know that sometimes it seems a lot easier to use Google than traipse down to the library in the rain, but there are loads of benefits to going out, finding resources and speaking to people who are willing to help in person.
Although this year at university may not have lived up to expectations, student clubs and societies aren’t off limits, so don’t be disheartened. Understandably, you may feel wary about joining due to the current health and safety guidelines, but societies really are the best place to make lifelong friends, network in a fun environment and try new things. Check out our top five societies to join at uni for inspiration.
Make time for friends and family
Whilst lockdown means that we haven’t been afforded as many opportunities to meet new people, don’t let it stop you from making friends. Just because we’re ‘locked down’, doesn’t mean you have to shut yourself out entirely. Talk to people in halls, join a society, and contact people on your course, because we’re sure you’ll end up meeting some amazing, like-minded people. Spending time with friends also includes speaking to people from back home and keeping in touch with family members. Good relationships, no matter what form they come in, will make university during lockdown so much more enjoyable.
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