The below is a guest blog by Li, a Youth Advisory Council member
Adapting to online study is hard, no matter who you are – teachers, parents or students. For me as a university student, the transition has been really stressful. I’ve lost motivation to do basic tasks like getting out of bed sometimes.
At the start of this year, I felt like I was at the peak of my life. I finally had the chance to study abroad in Canada for 6 months after a year of planning using my savings I’ve saved up for the past 3 years. My time there was awesome: I was living on my own (like a proper adult!), making many new friends from all over the world, seeing snow for the first time and just enjoying life.
However, my time there was cut short. We all thought COVID-19 wasn’t going to bad as it is now, but it did happen. Within a few days, the Canadian governments started to take action. All schools in my region were shut down and still are until who knows when. My exchange university was shut down for two weeks while they planned for a smooth transition into online learning for the rest of the semester.
I was determined that I was going to stay and enjoy the rest of my semester in Canada, but the numbers kept rising. One of my best friends from exchange, who is from the Netherlands, still hasn’t been able to go home because she has a weak immune system and it is very risky for her to travel. That was when I realised that this was serious. Within a day of receiving information from the Australian government to return back to Australia, I was on a (full) flight back home to Brisbane. I am grateful that I was able to book a flight back home and have a place to stay with my family.
It was interesting to see how the two countries responded to the pandemic. I feel like in my area in Australia, people are still quite fearful because of the uncertainty around our situation. In Quebec, the province where I was studying, people are hopeful. Children around the region have been painting rainbows and putting them in their front windows, as a sign of solidarity and joining the ever-growing #chasetherainbow movement.
Right now, I am still studying at my Canadian university remotely, like many other children and students across Queensland, our country and all over the world. Over the last few weeks, instead of avoiding my responsibilities, I decided to take action and allow myself to maximise my time in quarantine. So far, I’ve been able to take control of my university studies as well as explore other hobbies and develop skills that I wouldn’t have time for usually, such as knitting and making digital art.
If you’re slowly losing motivation from online learning, I just wanted to let you know that you can do it! Here are some tips that have helped me get my life back on track:
- Set a routine
Having a consistent schedule helped me organise my time better and achieve my goals. Set alarms for waking up and bedtime to get a full night’s sleep and avoid staying up all night. Use a calendar to dedicate time to activities you would like to do regularly like exercising or learning a new skill.
- Have regular breaks
Not everything is about work or study, you need time to relax as well. Staring at a screen all day isn’t great for your eyes… so try doing an activity that you normally do indoors outdoors like reading, exercising and get some vitamin D. If you struggle with taking too many or too little breaks, try the Pomodoro method, where you work in 30-minute blocks (25 minutes of work and 5 minutes break).
- Ask for help
There are many resources out there for you – whether that be your own friends or family, resources from your school or from the government. They are there for a reason (to help you), so don’t be afraid to reach out.
- Stay Connected
Even though you may be miles away (or just next door!) from your friends and family, it is important to stay connected and check in with them. There are more ways to connect with others other than a call, text or video call… you can watch movies or even play games remotely with your friends.
- Have a plan
Write all your upcoming work and study items due on a calendar to have a clear understanding of what your priorities are. Compile your priorities into a to-do list. These are uncertain times, but it is a good idea to write down some of your life goals and aspirations in this time for something to look forward to.
With every storm, there is always a rainbow that follows. Everything will be okay 🌈