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How to study during a pandemic

8 January 2021

6 mins

Hello! My name is Nyasha and I am currently a second-year student at Loughborough University studying History and Politics. 

Recently, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time studying. With assessments fast approaching, good study habits have become more and more relevant for me (as I am sure they have for you too!) This will be my second round of exams under lockdown restrictions, and whist studying during a pandemic certainly requires some adjustment, it is still very possible! From my experience, I’ll be giving 5 tips to consider when studying during these unprecedented times. 

Hi everyone – that’s me!

Get into a daily routine 

Studying during a pandemic can mean lots of work away from school, which includes set timetables and breaktimes. That’s why creating a routine for yourself is really important! Setting a schedule for each day will not only help you feel in control, but also gives you direction for the day so you can focus on what you need to accomplish. 

There are also things to consider like family commitments such as helping around the house, exercise, walking the dogs or preparing meals. I found that creating a schedule allowed me to plan my study sessions whilst also making time for my responsibilities at home and social time.  

Me and a friend enjoying a walk

In addition, it helps to try to maintain a consistent time of waking up and going to bed each day. I suggest setting an alarm the night before as it could make all the difference! 

Identify what needs to be done 

With many different topics to study, it can sometimes feel like you have a million things to do, which can be quite overwhelming. I have found that writing a list of the tasks I need to complete makes things so much easier, and often, I quickly find that it doesn’quite add up to a million 

I like to start off my mornings by writing my main tasks for the day, which are usually the topics I would like to cover or any written work I might need to complete. You might want to think about what your goals are for each subject and then break those down into smaller tasks you can complete each day. Identifying which tasks need to be completed will help make your studying more focused and can also help you feel more in control by allowing you to focus on one item at a time.  

Prioritise your study time to help you achieve goals

Manage your study space 

I found studying remotely took quite a bit of adjustment, as I didn’t have access to many of the study spaces we had available at university such as the library or computer labs.  

Where you study at home depends on a lot of things, and everyone has different areas where they feel productive or have access to. So, there aren’t hard and fast rules about exactly where you should study, but there are a few important things to consider.  For example, it is important to make sure wherever you are working is tidy and organised to improve focus and reduce stress. Before you study, you can take a few minutes to clear your space and set up your workplace for the day. This can include laying out things like your notebooks, textbooks, stationery and removing any distractions.  

Try to work in a space where you can sit up straight. This means you should avoid working from places like your bed (and let’s be honest, working from bed is not a great idea!)  

My very own miniature library

Study (remotely) with friends 

If you’re anything like me, studying with a friend right by your side isn’t always very productive because you end up talking to your friend instead of studying! However, during lockdown, forming a study group can be helpful and a great way to motivate you to keep studying.  

In the current climate of social distancing, life can sometimes feel a little lonely but one of the advantages of technology is you can still work together remotelyMy friend and I like to keep an online document open where we can log what we have each studied on a specific day. This helps us keep each other accountable and motivates us to work that little bit harder. You can also go through practice essay questions or solve problems together over a video call. 

Take breaks 

It is important to take breaks along the way and not overwork yourself. This will give you time to relax and refresh your mind which helps with overall productivity when you do return to study!  

You can also take longer time outside of your study sessions to do things you enjoy. I love baking, so after a hard day of work I usually take time to bake with one of my flatmates (or siblings when I am at home) or go for a walk outside. During these times, you need to give yourself little rewards to keep your motivation high, so think about any hobbies or activities you like, and make sure to continue doing them during this pandemic! 

There’s always time for cake!

Final Thoughts 

Don’t forget that these are particularly challenging times, and you’re doing a great job already by continuing to adapt and study to the best of your ability! Whilst it is important to work hard, make sure you don’t forget to be kind to yourself and acknowledge your small achievements each day. Keep doing that and you will do great! 

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