Student Insight: Adapting to studying from home

08 June 2020

There is no denying that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a huge impact on everyone’s lives. For many university students, this includes the necessity to now study from home which can be a difficult task when you are used to studying in your university environment. From making a study schedule to organising your study space, our MSc student ambassadors Alara & Alina share their top tips on how to make the most of studying from home.

Alina Klonari, MSc International Business

I have listed below some of the recommendations I would make to students in order to help them to adapt to studying from home.

Have long breaks throughout the day

As a student, I always tend to study for a long period of time during the day, working non-stop and only having an hour break in total in the middle of the day. However, with the current situation, this is not effective. Whilst studying at WBS I could dedicate my whole day to studying, knowing that I would have the weekend to go out and relax. As we all know, there are now lots of restrictions in place with COVID-19 which means that this is not possible anymore. So, from my experience so far, I would suggest that you take longer breaks during your day which, believe me, will help you stay focused on your studies.

Go for a walk

No matter how stressed I am about a deadline I always try to find one or two hours to go out for a long walk. Normally I would be the type of person to stay inside all day focusing on my studies but during this situation I have learnt to adapt my way of studying. I find that by taking regular breaks and going for a long walk around campus has enabled me to return to my studies with a more focused mindset.

Stay in touch with family and friends

As an international student living away from home, the only way of communicating with my family and friends at the moment is by video-calling. I have been using FaceTime to speak to my family and friends which has also provided me with a good distraction from my studies. I think it is so important to stay in contact with others, especially in the current situation, and talking about something other than my workload has really lifted my mood.

Do not stay in your room

I have set myself a target of getting out of my room more frequently as sometimes time can pass you by and you realise you haven’t moved out of your room for hours or even days!  I have realised these past weeks that spending some extra time outside my room and moving into the kitchen boosts my concentration when I get back to studying. For instance, I try not to prepare a quick meal, but rather allocate some time to enjoy cooking a meal and improving my cooking skills.

Alara Ozcam, MSc Marketing & Strategy

I have personally found my home environment quite distracting whilst adapting to studying from home, so I wanted to share with you my top five tips on how to make the most of studying from home.

Make a study schedule

Discover what study schedule works best for you. Everyone has their own time-frame in which they feel the most productive; for some people that may be early in the morning or for others, it may be late at night. For me, I am a night-owl, and therefore studying early in the day is a major issue for me as I feel a lot less focused. I have found making a study schedule whereby my evenings are dedicated to studying has helped me to stay motivated and focused on my studies.

Give yourself a break

Everyone has those days when they just can’t concentrate, and don’t worry, that is completely normal. The initial tendency might be to push yourself to finish the task, but my advice is don’t. Instead, take a break and go for a walk, listen to your favourite album, do something to clear your mind. You shouldn’t see this as wasting your time as you are gaining perspective. Chances are, once you give yourself the break you needed, you will be more alert and productive than ever!

Organise your study space

I would recommend that you create a specific area for you to study. Make sure you keep this area organised and free from any distractions so that your mind can pre-condition itself to fully focus on your studies whilst you’re there.

Take care of yourself

This sounds really obvious but something we can forget is to take care of ourselves. Remember that your mind and body need approximately eight hours of sleep to fully rest and reset. By getting a good night’s sleep you will allow your mind to rest, and you will be better prepared to concentrate and focus on your studies. I would also recommend that you eat well; make sure you are eating nutritious foods to ensure that your body is at full strength. Planning your meals in advance can help you to avoid grabbing the nearest unhealthy snack!

Set a time frame

Managing your time can be difficult but I would like to share with you a life-changing technique that one of my professors taught me. It is called “The Pomodoro Technique”. With this technique, you set yourself a time frame (for example 25 minutes) to focus on a particular task and then give yourself a 5-minute break. After four pomodoros (4 x 25 minute time frames) you give yourself a 30-minute break and restart the cycle. It is a very simple yet highly effective technique that enables you to set yourself achievable objectives in a set time frame.

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