Student life in quarantine

Who would have thought the fantasy of many students attending 9 AM lectures in pyjamas would come true? The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of everyone’s lifestyle and not many realize how much this has impacted students.
Posted by Nayab Muhmood
From Pakistan
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From group work and interacting with other students in the library to studying independently in their homes, students are losing their connection to the real world.

"Have group calls, arrange online quizzes on platforms like Kahoot or Netflix Party together, this will help you stay sane during this insane time."

Many have either lost their opportunity to go on an exchange program to another country, have proper graduation, or just a normal student life. However, social distancing is one of the necessary measures taken to limit the rate of transmission of COVID-19.

Dutch Measures Against COVID-19

By mid-March 2020, the government announced preventative measures such as events and meetings with more than 100 people were forbidden and all Dutch universities suspended physical teaching. The precautionary measures were extended for a certain period but by the end of April the number of cases began to decline, hence the lockdown gradually eased up. Higher education institutions provided remote teachings i.e. through digital means and from June 15 they made it possible to have the following educational activities on campus: practical lessons; exams and support for vulnerable students. It may have seemed like the end of the world, but students have done their best to adapt to the situation.

Keep Yourself Busy

Here is a reminder that we are all going through a stressful period in our lives and it is okay not to master a foreign language from scratch or complete all your projects within a week. On the other hand, it is a good time to focus on innocuous hobbies or anything that keeps you happy, optimistic, and mentally healthy. Some examples could be:

  • Taking extra online courses: It would be cool to come out of this pandemic with extra skills and knowledge by doing some extra courses online that are free! Coursera and edX are great platforms;
  • Watching Netflix and/or Disney+: It is all right to not feel productive and just lay back and catch up on TV shows (I binged La Casa de Papel in a day), or watch Disney movies because you could never go wrong with that;
  • Cooking/Baking: I was never into cooking or baking but I have some time to learn a few more recipes and you, too, could master some kitchen skills! There are great, delicious and student-budget meals that you can try to make;
  • Read books: With not much to do, it is a good moment to read more books that you said you did not have time for. Here are some examples of good books which I enjoyed, Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, Start with Why by Simon Sinek and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Lastly, I would like to emphasise the importance of staying in touch with your friends and family. Have group calls, arrange online quizzes on platforms like Kahoot or Netflix Party together, this will help you stay sane during this insane time.

Studying from Home Tips

Studying from home is a blessing and a curse, you can be very comfortable at home but sometimes it can be exhausting to sit in front of a computer screen and, quite frankly, demotivating to get any work done. However, there are ways to overcome this by making small changes in your current routine.

  • Make a study plan

Just like a meal plan, having a study plan would help you organize yourself while studying from home. Know when you have lectures and plan your calls with your group ahead of time.

  • Clean out your study space

Put your laptop, books, and other studying material in a neat, orderly manner. Remove anything unrelated that you may be easily distracted by, during your chosen study time.

  • Communicate to others in your home that you will be studying

If you are living with your family or roommates, let them know you will be busy from a certain time. This helped me a lot to not be disturbed.

  • Tune out distractions

As difficult as this is going to sound, try not to have your phone around while studying because Facebook and Instagram are very distractive. You will start looking at memes 10 mins into a lecture, but if your phone is away from you then you would not have the urge. Practice self-control!

  • Reward yourself

This is imperative and necessary to keep the motivation active. There is a range of ways to reward yourself, and it could be as simple as having a bar of chocolate, going for a walk, or taking a nap ?.

It is important to take the positivity out of this negative situation. We are all in this together and do not forget to seek out for help if you ever need it. Take some time away from the negative news shown on social media because it could have a huge impact on your daily mood and, ultimately, your mental health. This too shall pass!

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