I don’t think I’m alone in saying that when the fireworks went off at the end of 2020, I was relieved to start a new year, full of new possibilities and hopefully a little less focus on COVID-19.
I sat down to try and write this post about literally anything else, but unfortunately, it is dictating everyone’s lives right now. I decided that instead of focusing on what we aren’t doing because of COVID, I would try to focus on the positives of working from home!
Being at home means you can tailor your own study space to how you work best, it also means you can learn on your own time. You can study at whatever time of day is best for you and even though the library is great, you can make your at home study desk the perfect conditions for you. If you are anything like me, I like to be completely surrounded by notes and silent conditions don’t always work best – so, when you’re working from home you can make it suit you, you can set your workload every day to fit, set your own goals and work to your limits.
What I’m missing most about on-site learning is having the chance to talk to your course mates, when you only see them via Zoom it can be difficult to form friendships and share comradery in the workload. Being at home has definitely been a setback for this, but it has also given us the opportunity to create our own virtual study groups. You can meet with people from the course, to talk through reading lists or even just share in the fact that everyone else is the same boat, and that can be a real comfort.
Also, no dress code! No need to wear a mask, or to commute! This might sound trivial, but I’ll take all we can get at this point. When you’re comfortable studying, you undoubtedly do your best work and working at home can definitely be comfort focussed. You also can plan your own rewards throughout the day, like virtual coffee breaks, grabbing some lunch to take away, or slowly working your way through the entirety of Netflix. If you are on campus, or even at home, you also have access to your own study support system. Even though these feel like really lonely times, you still have people around you to bounce ideas off or celebrate the end of exams with – and like I said before, we will take all the small victories we can!
What I’m hoping you’ll take from this is that I know this isn’t the year we hoped for so far, but we are closer to the end than ever, and hopefully, we will all be back in Manchester soon. And if there is anything we can do to help right now; it would be to focus on the positives. I hope exams went well for everyone and here’s to the rest of 2021!