How to study from home effectively no matter where in the world you are
27 April 2020
In this blog, undergraduate student Jinesh shares how he managed to find his ideal study spot at home and discusses the online resources he is using to complete his studies.
Going home over the holidays is always an exciting time! The Easter break usually sees all students at home (locally or internationally) and while there is an aspect of going out, meeting friends from home and having fun, university work and the upcoming summer term is also at the back of our minds!
This Easter of 2020, however, is drastically different. We are sat at home, but among troubled times. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has left most, if not all of us under lockdown wherever in the world we are. Nonetheless, fret not! Amidst these troubled times, this blog seeks to bring you some self-help guidance on primarily how to study effectively from home and for some exciting games that you could play with family and friends to keep engaged!
My initial reaction when hearing that we would have to work from home was that of horror. I knew my home was not exactly set up for home working and generally, I am the sort of person that works better in a library-type environment. I was not looking forward to this situation but knew that I had to overcome this. Funnily enough, I realised that it is quite easy to set up a work-from-home station! Have a look at my cozy and minimalistic desk! You could turn anything into a desk – a coffee table, the dining table and for those that have one, even your dresser works at times! I’m currently waiting for the nice weather and then I’ll move to my outdoor office (also known as the garden).
Once you have organised a workstation, your next step is to come up with a consistent timetable. Understandably, these are unprecedented times and information on exams and assessments do keep changing, however it is important to remember that the revision material does not change. Even though the exam type may differ, the work you have put in through your lectures and seminars during term-time will all help you in your final assessment. Come up with a study schedule and try and stick to it! For the international students, it is likely that you may be in different time zones. However, you should know that the university understands this predicament and you do not need to be awake in the wee hours of the morning to match the timing of UK. Take the necessary rest and work through the normal working hours that your country operates in.
Resources are something that you may be worried about. With the library closed and terminals such as the Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters inaccessible, perhaps you may feel underprepared in your assessments. But again, fret not! The university and WBS is quick to its feet when coming up with solutions that will help your learning and development even though you cannot physically access material. My.wbs has a dedicated coronavirus FAQ page with timely updates on the student affairs and how the circumstances are changing. Apart from that, your module leaders are working round the clock to come up with an assessment format and are welcoming queries for any outstanding work that you currently have. Be sure to use the forum tab on your module page as you may have the same query as many others! The library also has a vast list of online resources that you can tap into for your learning. Just log into the online portal and you have the entire library database at the click of your mouse. A common point that many miss out is the reading list on your module page! Be sure to give that a look and use that as a tool to aid your understanding as well. Beyond all of this, if you do have any issues, raise it to the undergraduate team, or your module leaders/course directors and I have found that they will be happy to give you support.
Beyond all your hard work and revision, it is essential to take breaks. You may not be allowed to leave your home or meet friends physically, but there is a lot that you can do whilst at home! My first suggestion is a home workout. There are loads of free YouTube tutorials that guide you with different exercises to stay in shape and sweat the boredom out! Secondly, board games! We tend to take to board games for granted but they are a lovely way to pass some time and foster greater bonds with your family/the people you are quarantined with. Even if you do not have physical board games, there are multiplayer online games that you can play – some examples include Mario Kart, Ludo and Golf Battle (all available on iOS and Android platforms). Finally, and my personal favourite, quiz night! Gather round your friends (virtually on platforms like FaceTime or Zoom) or your family and come up with a quiz to do. It definitely is a great bonding activity and gives you the opportunity to reconnect with your friends at university!
Overall, I really thought I would struggle working from home, but with a bit of determination and trying every desk in the house to see which was the perfect ‘office desk’ I’ve managed to set up a good study space. I hope you can too!
Find out more about Jinesh's course BSc Accounting & Finance here.