The classroom might not be everyone’s favourite place all the time, but as the saying goes, you don’t know what you’ve got 'til it’s gone!
If you are currently having to learn at home instead of at school or college, turning your living room, bedroom and kitchen into a learning space, common room and cafeteria can take some getting used to. Here are a few ways to help make studying from home work for you.
Get your set up sorted
Working from your bed or sofa sounds appealing at first, but trust us, after an hour or two you’ll have a sore back and about only half your work done.
Instead find yourself a spot to get set up in, and take your time making it as comfortable and cosy as possible. Boost your screen up to eye-level with a few books, pile up cushions to get comfy in your chair, and put yourself near a window for some natural light so you don’t strain your eyes.
Feel free to change it up every few days too and sit somewhere new!
Set yourself a schedule
Draw up a plan for yourself of how you’d like to spend each day, what you’ve got on and what you’d like to get ticked off.
Know when you want to get started in the morning and what time you’re going to clock off, try and set yourself timings for each task and be as realistic as possible. This will help things to feel a bit more normal, and more achievable.
Studying solo rather than being surrounded by your classmates is a big shift, but there’s no reason to struggle on alone. It’s likely everyone will be feeling the same, and might need to check on a couple of things every now and again.
Set up a groupchat with a study group for sharing advice, asking and answering questions, and, crucially, sending the odd meme – we all need a smile! Don’t be shy about emailing your teachers either, that’s what they’re there for, and it’ll save you time in the long run.
Make the most of online classes
Joining your classes from your computer might feel weird at first, but online learning platforms are commonly used and really useful, so getting to grips with them now will come in super handy when you come to use them in later life.
Give yourself plenty of time to log in and test your audio to make sure you don’t miss anything, and look at what little you can use to help during class. On some platforms for example, you can ‘put your hand up’ if you want to let your teacher know you want to ask a question.
Explore learning resources
There are a number of extra study aids and information sources available online. Even better, some tools that students would normally have to pay to access have become freely available to support learning during the coronavirus lockdown.
For example, Jisc and JSTOR have both lifted compulsory subscription fees from a large number of journals, e-books and other educational content. The British Library and National Library of Scotland also have significant digital collections.
For younger learners, BBC Bitesize offers a host of core learning resources for high school level study, with new lessons being released daily.
Keep your study/life balance in check
When you don’t physically leave your study space and you have a long list of work to get through, it can be easy to let work time run into time you should be saving for yourself. Try and keep a balance – log on when you say you will and clock off on time too.
Once you’re done for the day, tidy away your books and notes, so you aren’t reminded of your to-do list while you’re relaxing. If you can, mark the end of your working day with an activity that helps you draw a line under it, like going for a walk, or doing an online exercise class.
Find your motivational soundtrack
If you need a bit of a boost, we've put together a few tunes to keep you going. Happy studying!