This year much of your studies may be online, which can be quite difficult to adapt to at first. Follow these simple but effective tips to help you adjust and make the most of learning at home.
Set up a Workspace
Working at home is very different from being on campus – for starters you can attend lectures from your bed! However, setting up a dedicated workspace at home might help you create a routine. Having separate spaces for your work and home life will help you balance the two, which can help to improve your general wellbeing.
We recommend that you set your workspace up at a table, with a comfortable chair. Be sure to have a pen and some paper handy for making notes during lectures. Try to keep your workspace away from disruptions like the TV or busy family areas, and keep your phone in another room, if you begin to find it too distracting. You might also benefit from personalising your workspace to create a calming environment, maybe by including a small plant or a photo of friends and family.
Create a Routine
Creating a routine can be really helpful! You can start your routine by trying to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Remember, the early mornings get easier the more you experience them! When you’re working at home, it’s easy to stay in your pyjamas all day but getting dressed and starting the day with a healthy breakfast will help you feel a form of normality.
A calendar or a to-do list might help you stick to your routine, but don’t forget to schedule in some time for yourself, whether it be to see friends and family or catch up on a hobby.
Connect with your Course-mates and Tutors
Whilst you might not be able to see your course-mates in person, you can still keep in touch! Here at Newcastle University, all students are given access to Microsoft Teams, where you can create small groups to work on projects together, as well as make use of the chat and video call functions. You can easily share documents and edit them together in real time, making group work a breeze!
Don’t forget that although a lot of your study hours may be online, your tutors are still available. If you have any questions or want to discuss anything with them further, you can email them, message them on Microsoft Teams or even message them during Zoom classes. Your tutors are a source of help, guidance, and information, so be sure to make use of them despite working remotely!
Take a Break
Sitting in the same place all day can become tiresome, so make sure you take regular breaks. These might be to complete a quick workout video, take the dog for a walk, cook a healthy meal, or read a chapter of a good book. However you choose to spend your breaks try to move away from your workspace, so you feel refreshed on your return.
You might find it useful to schedule in your breaks, so you can look forward to them, or try the Pomodoro method, where you work for a 25 minute burst and then take a break for a further 5. You can alter the timings to suit your own personal working preferences, if you’d rather work for longer or shorter periods.
Use our Resources
Here at Newcastle University, we understand that studying from home might be difficult to adapt to, so we have lots of resources we can access online to help you. If you need any books, you can use our Library’s Click and Collect service, or make use of the extensive sources available online through the library website. Our wellbeing services are still available, including counselling and online CBT. If you are looking for careers advice, our Careers Service are running regular online webinars full of helpful advice, online CV checks, and interview preparation.
If you have any questions about Covid-19 or online learning, check our Enquiries page, or call our Covid Enquiries Telephone Line on +44 (0)191 222 5101.