I hope you’re keeping in good spirits, staying safe, positive and looking after your wellbeing.
With everything that’s happening in the current climate, from Covid-19 to the protests over injustices in the world, I’m feeling a mix of emotions right now and the last few weeks have been difficult for staying on top of my studies but I’m gradually getting through it.
If you read my previous blog where I posted about the best parks in Birmingham, you’d probably have guessed that it’s definitely one of my go-tos for keeping my mental wellbeing in check, and of course staying active, which is helping during this time.
It’s great to get out with the family (social distancing of course) and if you’re a student-mom like me, you’ll hopefully understand where I’m coming from – going out to the parks and just away from the house has been just as important for my children as it has been for me.
Today I really wanted to discuss what life has been like for me as an online learner at University College Birmingham since teaching has been disrupted, due to these unforeseen circumstances.
So, we’re what… 10-11 weeks into lockdown and things are only just starting to ease, but I think we’re far from getting ‘back to normal’. I’ve been hearing people throw around the term ‘the new normal’ while referring to what life might look like post-lockdown.
During lockdown, tutors, instructors and assessors have adjusted their way of working just as much as students. Just as I posted last week, my top 3 video call apps, I wonder whether additional support for university students via video calls will become the new normal, and whether university students will be made to attend virtual classes online post-lockdown?!
With social distancing looking like a new normal, I believe the student experience and our social interactions will be very different too. As an online learner now, I appreciate the friendships that I formed with other students on my course before the lockdown – my support network has helped me through my course.
For a lot of us students, we’re in the same boat and having to complete our courses online means that we have had more flexibility. Now this doesn’t work well for everyone and for me, I mentioned earlier on in a previous post, attending University College Birmingham was one of the things that I used to look forward to. The environment at the University is incomparable to my home environment but I’ve had to integrate my studies with my home life and find a balance, which has been quite a challenge.
Becoming an online learner mid-way through the academic year has meant that I’ve had to work on sharpening my time management skills, and with only a matter of weeks to go until the end of my course, the heat is on!
Managing my own study schedule with the family home all of the time, life has been hectic, and although I try to choose the best time for me to study, I’ve learned to accept that some days my plans don’t always work out. Again, this has challenged my ability to manage my own time and taught me some valuable lessons about planning, not procrastinating, being resilient to change and adapting.
As an online learner, I’ve had to remain focused and motivated, which has been a challenge but has given me the opportunity to be disciplined and stay on track.
“Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses but to discover our strengths” – unknown.
Have a lovely weekend.