Self-care tips for online students


LET us get the facts out of the way. We do miss human interaction during this pandemic.

While students in the past would skip classes to hang out with friends, I am certain many of them can’t wait for their schoolmates to gather under one roof again.

Generally, for safety reasons, students are willingly adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of studying from home. However, some students face problems with Internet connectivity while others find it challenging to learn by looking at the screen for long periods.

For students who are familiar with the Internet, it does not take long for them to get acquainted with online learning tools. Students who are weak in their studies face more difficulties keeping up with online learning.

Our lecturers have received mixed feedback – independent learners expressed enjoyment in online distance learning, while some students struggled to focus.

Each lesson is recorded and lecturers conduct as many meetings as needed to further assist students in their learning.

Social media and WhatsApp have also been used to keep students motivated to continue their studies.It helps to share funny GIFs and memes to lighten the mood in the group chats after a long day of classes.

To maintain their general well-being while studying from home, students can do regular exercises to improve their mental health.

Physical activities such as cycling and jogging can be a rewarding experience. Being with nature and away from the screen helps provide a sense of normalcy and relief from the madness surrounding us. But do remember to practise social distancing.

In addition, students need to have healthy meals at home. Adopting a nourishing diet helps improve students’ sense of well-being and maintain healthy brain functions for studying. That means not eating an entire bag of chips while binging on online web series after class.

Moreover, students need to make sure they get adequate sleep to boost their mental health. I know some of my students spend hours on online games, way past their bedtime. The next level can wait. The next raid is just some forty winks away.

Unplug, get a good night sleep (at least eight hours), and wake up refreshed and energised!

Last but not least, it is really important for students to plan and organise their time. This can help reduce anxiety of the unknown while retaining a level of control over your life.

To remain motivated while studying from home, students could practise mindfulness. At the same time, students need to remember their end goals. To achieve career success, it is vital that students study hard and graduate with the right skills and knowledge.

To summarise, practise the three Rs, which are Relax, Recharge and Reward, to stay motivated. We are in this together and I believe we can emerge from this pandemic as better people with new outlooks in life.

Remember, this too shall pass. You are not in this alone and do reach out to counsellors if you need to have a talk with someone.

PROF IAN PASHBY

Chief executive officer Peninsula Higher Education Group

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