Next week sees the start of Semester 2, and while the government update last week means most teaching will remain online until the 8 March the majority of University life – like the rest of the UK – will continue remotely.
While it’s hard to plan far ahead at the moment, there are still things you can do now to help get you ready for Semester 2. Whether that’s planning a new routine, setting aside a little time to sign-up for non-academic activities, or just reintroducing yourself to the resources and support available so you know how to access it when you need it.
Teaching and learning
The way we learn has seen a huge shift over the past year, with us adapting very quickly to remote learning and using new technology. And while you’ve already had a full semester using platforms like BlackBoard and Zoom, if you’re not sure of all their functions and how they work, now is a good time to see what they can do. From viewing course materials to collaborating and facilitating discussions with course mates. There are a range of user guides on the Student Support website.
Additionally, if you’ve found you’ve struggled more with time management as the lines between work and leisure time have become blurred, there are also some useful LinkedIn Learning resources such as ‘Time management at home‘ and ‘Productivity tips for working from home‘ you can access. Alternatively, for a quick read, PhD student Kirstie has pulled together what she learnt over lockdown in ‘9 tips for working from home.’
If you’re looking to build up your academic skills this semester the Library’s My Learning Essentials has plenty of online resources for you to work through at your own pace. From writing academic essays, presenting like a pro, group work, proofreading or getting to grips with referencing there’s lots to help you hone your academic skills. If you would prefer working with others to develop skills there are also workshops taking place, such as ‘writing together’ and ‘searching together’ where you can set aside a specific time to focus on these skills.
Outside academia there’s also lots happening this semester you can get involved with to take a break from work and add to your student experience. Student Volunteering Week begins on Monday, 8 February, where you can find out more about volunteering while at University. Complete the Social Justice Challenge online, attend a Careers workshop, or try out a new Sport with a Sporticipate session. Just remember you don’t have to do all of these things (or any), but think about what interests you and what you might enjoy getting involved with that gives you a bit of a time out from your studies.
Students’ Union Buddy Scheme
If you just fancy a chat with someone and the chance to meet new people you can join the Students’ Union Buddy scheme. The scheme is peer led and will help you connect with other students. You’ll be paired with another student who may be on a similar course or have similar interests, where you can catch-up with each other on a call of video chat. You can either sign up for a buddy, or volunteer to be a buddy.
Finally although most of us are still working from home there is still plenty of support available from the University with IT, Library, Careers, Sport, Counselling, Disability Advisory Support and School services all still open and here for you.