People are getting vaccinated and restrictions on mask wear and social distancing are starting to be relaxed. However it could be that for some reason beyond your control you have to do distance learning or have a blended learning approach this year.
People are getting vaccinated and restrictions on mask wearing and social distancing are starting to be relaxed. However it could be that for some reason beyond your control you have to do distance learning or have a blended learning approach this year. I know this is not easy to accept and you might even feel that you are not taking full advantage of your uni experience. I would like to tell you that this is false but it is inevitably true in some ways. If you need general advice on how to deal with isolation and distance learning, I invite you to look online at several articles and videos available on this subject. In this article I want to share with you my experience and my tips that have helped me get through the past year. For a bit of background, I arrived in London in August 2020 and at the time we hoped to see the virus disappear, I had a few face-to-face classes at the university. Then in November we had a lockdown of more than 6 months during which I felt very lonely. But luckily I made sure to have a good time and I'll explain how.
Create or Join a Group Chat to Make Friends
In the weeks leading up to the start of my course at King's I created a WhatsApp group to bring people from my course together. I posted the group on various King's student Facebook groups and very quickly, the word got around and the group became very popular. In total we are 140 students and it is on this group that I met some of my very good friends at King's. In addition to socialising, this group allowed us to discuss about our modules as well as help each other during projects or assignments. This group has been around for one year now and I think it was a great idea. Now we discuss in the group chat to help each other or ask questions in relation to our final dissertation. At the start of the year, I advise you to see if a group already exists and if not you can create one.
Participate During your Online Tutorials
When I first started having online classes, I really hated it but I have to say that I played the game and from day one I participated during tutorials by asking questions. I also got very involved in my group projects and would socialise with my classmates. That’s also how I met one of my really good friends at King’s. Over time I honestly just started to get used to having online classes and started enjoying staying in my sweatpants, not having to commute or run to class because I was late and just enjoying a cup of coffee in my fuzzy bathrobe while listening to my lecturers. I just enjoyed the whole coziness of this especially during winter time. I was also able to focus more and take more notes at home than I would in class. I think the tip here is to create a nice learning environment at home so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on the quality of your education.
Enjoy the Advantages of Distance Learning
For me, distance learning means more freedom too. Don’t get me wrong I really love the campus experience and really wish things could get back to normal, but there is something very nice in having more time for hobbies, for example. If restrictions are lifted and international travel is allowed, this means that you could go to Italy for a month for example and study there at the same time. This also means that you get more time for staying active, going for walks, working out or playing sports. I think everyone can find pros of studying at home.
Enjoy the Study Spaces on Campus
Towards the middle of the year, I did start feeling a little bit lonely so I reached to a couple of friends I had made over the time and we started going on campus every day to study in the study spaces or at the library. We would all have a lunch break and a coffee break at the same time and would go out in the city at the end of the day to grab food or go for some shopping. This helped me to stick to a routine and be more productive during my exams. I was also able to have a feeling of the campus life at King’s since I would go there every day. Yes, the campus was a bit empty and it would make me sad sometimes but at least I got to explore the campus. I’m a student at the business school and so I would often study at Bush House or Macadam Building.
Work on a Personal Project
Finally, distance learning is the perfect opportunity to cultivate your passions or start a personal project or reach a specific goal. I know that at one point during the pandemic I started getting very active. Some people I know took the opportunity to start their own business. You don’t have to be super productive I know there is a lot of pressure about it. You can also take the time to just read books or watch movies. Just take time for yourself. During the pandemic this year I started two podcasts, one of them is hosted with my best friend who lives back home. It was a nice way to stay in touch every week while working on something special.
You guessed it, I really hope that you will be able to experience King’s on campus this year but if for some reason you can’t I hope that these tips will help you have a good experience at King’s despite the current circumstances!