A guest blog by graduate, Lily Harris
It’s university, the ‘greatest time of your life’, many may have told you. You moved into your new place with friends all around, ready for some wild adventures, raring to paint the campus red and then smash it in your seminars the next day. Instead, you find yourself having to work from home and isolate due to the global pandemic. Luckily, Vita Student is not only on-hand to support those who live within their buildings around the UK, but to work with graduates and other students to bring you advice on how best to tackle your uni life in 2020/21.
Studying in isolation is hard. There is no two-ways about it. But that is why we have put together this guide to provide you with the 101 on how to survive studying in isolation.
Create a good vibe
Instead of hitting the books, try boogying with the books. In their blog, Glide explain that ‘listening to music gets those feel good endorphins pumping around your body and has the power to lift moods and take us back to good times – something that is very much needed right about now!’ So, make a feel-good playlist, stick your headphones in and crank up the tunes.
See the light
We all know that fairy lights help make everything better for those Insta pics. But there is also some science behind having a more ambient lighting when studying. Swap out any harsh lighting in favour of twinkly ones or try covering bulbs with paper lanterns to soften the glow. This will immediately help you to feel that your space is more appealing and easier to spend time in. SAD lamps are also a necessity for those stuck inside. What is Psychology? explains that SAD lamps can help because ‘exposure to high levels of UV light stimulates the brain to produce more serotonin, which helps to lift mood and improve sleep patterns’ which is a winner in our eyes and worth every penny.
Study together (apart)
Staying in contact with our friends and course-mates is essential. So, how about starting a virtual study club? Each set yourselves up with some snacks and coffee, log in and enjoy sharing some company while you study. Thanks to the internet, you can use video calling to connect in this way which will allow you to study together.
At Vita Student, there are plenty of private study rooms you can book out using the Vita Student app. Whether you want to enjoy them alone as a break-away place from your studio, or if you want to book the rooms with friends, you can. Each room has a capped capacity depending on the size so you can either bring some mates or dial them in to the space for a virtual session!
Who said studying’s not all fun and games?
Since life is hard enough right now, we all need a little light-relief. Having fun is genuinely therapeutic and doesn’t just help your mood – it actually helps your immune system too! So, no excuses needed to let yourself get a little silly. Make up fun games and rewards for yourself to help you enjoy your studies. Whether it’s giving yourself a chocolate reward for every multiple-choice question you slay, or coming up with comic backstories for your lecturers (just don’t publish these online!), find little fun ways of bringing some joy into your isolation study time.
Rearrange your space
We’re not saying you need to go all out on the feng-sui (though, it’s not a bad idea and you do have a lot of time on your hands now to research it), but rearranging your room can give you a much-needed feeling of change. By altering your visuals in this way, you can play a kind trick on your mind and make it seem as if you have a some movement in your environment. While you’re changing things up, also consider the kinds of things you have around you. A lot of mess and clutter is never going to help you feel good, so maybe take the opportunity to have an autumn-clean too (and don’t use the old ‘Mum, do I have to?’ line with us).
Studying in UK say that ‘taking care of your mental wellbeing is absolutely necessary during the days in self-isolation.’ They are right. If you are struggling with your mental wellbeing, it is essential that you take it seriously and find some support. If you are struggling with anything at all, do be proactive and reach out. From your GP to online charities such as Mind, there are loads of resources out there to help you.
At Vita, all students receive free access to UNIHEADS a student focused, mental health and wellbeing platform to offer advice and support. Mental health is just as important to physical health which is why the teams at Vita Student are always on hand, even if it’s just for a chat! Simply pick up the phone and call the residence team number or reach out on the app, the guys are always happy to help!
I hope you found this article helpful and use some of the tips when studying in the future. Stay tuned for more guest blogs coming this year.