Hello and welcome back to the blog!
I basically forgot I had it which is why it has been nearly a year since my last post. Oops. But now I’m back and ready to give my thoughts on lockdown and online learning at varsity.
So, going into lockdown I naively believed it wouldn’t last long and as such, didn’t bring home any of my winter clothes from Stellies. I thought that I would be anxious the entire time. There was no way I was going to perform well academically without access to my lecturers. Online learning in lockdown was going to be awful.
But it wasn’t.
Now disclaimer: I know I am part of a small percentage of the population that is privileged enough to be going through lockdown in comfort. I have my own room, wifi, electricity, etc. I am comfortable and as such, I haven’t had to deal with most of the hardships others have had to.
Nevertheless, a change in routine this severe is bound to be hard on anyone in some way. I strive off of routine. I make to-do lists for everything, I map out everything I can in my planner, if I could, I would know down to the hour what I would be doing each day for the next 5 years. That’s just me. So this lockdown and adjustment were hard. No longer was I waking at the same time each day and walking to campus. I didn’t have my scheduled coffee dates with friends. Suddenly I was at home instead of university and things like cleaning and cooking schedules which used to bring me comfort were out of my control.
So I decided one morning to create somewhat of a plan of action.
Online learning can be tough when you don’t have structure lectures to attend or lecturers to remind you of tasks. So to combat this, I created a spreadsheet and filled in all my assessment dates, which chapters were covered in each test, and whether I needed to do a summary or formula sheet for it. And it has helped so much. For the first time in years, I’m going into exam season calm and with a clear mind. I have been prepared for every assessment this lockdown and, which some may not have worked out how I wanted, I find I am reacting calmer to that failure than before. I’m not disappointed in myself, I’m simply working harder towards the next test.
I’ve stuck pretty close to my timetable for varsity with a few adjustments. I’ve booked out time in the morning until 9 am to exercise, at 1 pm for lunch, at 7 pm for dinner before ending my day at 10 pm to either go to bed or relax. I’m relatively strict about it but knowing I have time allocated to relaxing and making myself take the full hour allocated has kept me accountable and organised. Once I’ve filled in my normal lecture times and times where I have assessments, ill pencil in other tasks I need to get done. Whether its a mind-map or annotating a chapter from the textbook, it all gets written down so I can track my progress.
I made it a goal to exercise at least 5 times a week. We have a treadmill at home so before stage 3 I was able to get a run in every day. Now I take the dogs for a walk and sometimes run as well. Otherwise, I’ll do some bodyweight exercises and stretch. Not being too strict but having a general guideline has made me enjoy exercising without seeing it as a chore. Exercising gives me a break from just working and, getting it done in the morning means that, even if I do nothing else all day, I’ve accomplished something.
These past 2 months have been tough and a period of adjustment. But they have been much better than I thought they would be. I will be sticking to most of the habits I have formed during online learning once I get back to contact classes. This includes exercising almost daily as a stress relief as well as my new study methods which are paying off. They have made me feel like more of a calm, centered person than I was before. I hope you are all staying safe.
All my love,