10 Tips for Studying at Home
By Beatrice Wihlander | November 26, 2020
These tough times are affecting everyone all around the world. It is more important than ever to take care of yourself and look out for the people around you. For the students at the University of Amsterdam, the psychologist department has 10 tips they would like to share with the students. They believe that this will be of great help to stay motivated, focused and feel good in these stressful times by self-care in different shapes.
1. Keep your routine
Since all activities are done from home, the UvA is giving the tip to their students to follow their normal daily routine, as they would before the pandemic hit. To treat each day as they would if they would normally go to campus and attend their classes physically. It is extra important to keep attending the online classes, and not shift the normal rhythm from day to night.
2. Make a schedule
Plan your day and set timings for your lunch breaks, exercises, and studies. This will give you some time to relax and distinguish between when you need to be productive and when you are allowed a break.
3. Make your plan realistic
By giving yourself some extra time for an assignment, it will make you feel better about yourself when you manage to finish it on time. Compared to as if you plan too many activities in one day, which will reduce the feeling of achievement.
4. Acknowledge your feelings
We all have worries that catch up with us during the day. The psychologists at the UvA want to emphasize that these feelings should be acknowledged, and preferably written down. This is because it helps you to take distance from those feelings, and you will also see them in a clearer perspective.
5. Boost your energy with a workout
Being active is something you can keep doing at home. There are several videos to watch from YouTube or other exercising apps.
6. Keep yourself updated on the news – but to a certain extent
Even though it is good to be updated on everything that is happening in the world, this also has a limit. For your wellbeing, the UvA is advising to keep yourself updated with a few sources and limited times only.
7. Make yourself a nice study space
Be creative with what you have at home. Make sure to separate the places in your room or apartment, and create one place where you study, and let that place be kept for studying only. If you have roommates or live at home with your family, try to come to an agreement with each other’s routines and make sure your level of focus does not get affected.
8. Call your friends and family
To prevent loneliness, make sure to give the important people in your life a call on a regular basis. Since social interaction in person is practically impossible, try your best to take the time to call the people in your surroundings. The university can also help you to reach out to fellow students. Which is especially important for first year students who might not have had the opportunity to make friends yet in the Netherlands.
9. Take care of others, but also yourself
Be kind to yourself and do not push yourself too hard. Acknowledge the possibilities and make the most out of it. Is there something you need that you are currently missing? In that case, how can you change it? Make sure that you stay happy and relaxed, doing what you need to do to get there.
10. Stay in contact with the UvA
You can receive support from the study advisors. They are always there to help you over the phone or online. Additionally, student counsellors are setting up workshops on a regular basis to help you to study more efficiently from home. Lastly, you can also talk to a student psychologist at the UvA. They will listen to you and give you guidance on both personal and study-related problems.
In a survey conducted by students at the University of Amsterdam in the Media and Culture program, 11,4% out of 70 participants rated their wellbeing as “Happy and Satisfied”. The majority responded with “It is better than nothing, but not that satisfied”, and the remaining percentages also showed that the students have been negatively affected mentally due to COVID-19. Most of the general feelings amongst students were “Not fine”, “Unsure” and “Confused”, loneliness is also a common word used by the participants.
Even though many students indicated that they had problems before the pandemic started, 50% out of 68 participants indicated that their underlying problems have been worse since the quarantine restrictions started. Only 8,8% of the students have found a solution and solved their problem. Approximately 62 students responded “No” and “Not sure” to the same question.