IMPLEMENTATION of the movement control order (MCO) to curb the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives and affected many university students.
While many have made it back home in time, others opted to remain on campus and may be feeling depressed, helpless, lonely, insecure, and distressed.
Given that the MCO has been extended again, here are 10 tips for students to survive this crisis:
> Stay healthy
Keep yourself physically active. Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet instead of instant or processed foods. Keep hydrated by drinking water regularly. Do some indoor exercises and don’t loiter around outside unnecessarily because of boredom.
> Keep in touch
Connecting with family and friends provides emotional support to keep you sane through this period. Show concern for housemates or neighbours and support each other.
> Stay updated
Keep updated with the latest Covid-19 developments. Think about what you can contribute to society as an educated person to combat fake news. Use the reach of social media to disseminate useful information to the public. Stay at home.
> Stay optimistic
Believe that this crisis will be over soon. Meanwhile, maximise your full potential by doing or learning whatever you can. To avoid mental block caused by the added stress, take care of your physical and mental well-being to stay creative. If you can’t cope, don’t suffer in silence. Remember that you are not alone.
> Be realistic
Set daily and weekly goals with a doable routine. Don’t be over ambitious. Prepare a practical to-do list or a realistic plan which includes regular breaks for you to keep focused and to avoid burnout. Treat chores or helping others as a form of relaxation from assignments or study stress but don’t use it as an excuse for procrastination. Reflect on your daily or weekly achievements so that you are motivated to complete long-term goals.
> Be proactive
Volunteer as a student helper. Do what you can within your capacity. For example, assist with food packing for distribution or help NGOs to create online promotional materials for fundraising.
> Be resourceful
There are plenty of online resources for continuous learning. Maximise your free time, for example, by reading a self-improvement book, or learning programming skills. If you will be graduating soon, it is a good time to update your CV and find potential employers.
> Be innovative
Explore your potential as a YouTuber or influencer during your free time. Now is the time for you to shine by showcasing what you are capable of on social media by spreading positive vibes and keeping the spirit up. You can also sharpen your communication skills by writing to the editors of newspapers or magazines on topics that you are passionate about.
> Plan ahead
Prepare for the unexpected with contingency plans. For undergraduate students, think about your career path and consult your course coordinators on the assignments to try to work on them ahead of time. For postgraduate research students, use this time to reflect on your progress thus far and think through the plans that you want to execute after MCO.
> Embrace changes
Have a growth mindset and explore opportunities. Look at life from a different perspective and plan for the future. You might rediscover some of those abandoned hobbies or reignite your other interests. Turn this crisis into opportunities. Be productive by acquiring value-added skills to improve yourself so that you can emerge stronger after the MCO. This will give you an advantage over others when you are entering the job market or embarking on a career as an entrepreneur.
ASSOC PROF GOH HOE HAN
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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