With the move back to online learning Jesse, one of the CUSU Sustainability Champions, is here to offer some tips to help you better cope and make the most of the experience.
Sustainable Development Goals
When we think about sustainability, it's easy to think it is just about recycling but the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are broad enough to cover so many aspects of our lives! Did you know that the 4th SDG is Quality Education? As students we all know the value of education in our lives and the opportunities it can offer us. As Marian Wright Edelman put it:
“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it”
Welcome to studies this semester
The last few months has been a big change from what we all used to view as the 'normal' way of learning and studying. Prior to the pandemic you may not have ever experienced online or blended learning before making the change a little more challenging.
Since January 2021 the whole of England has been in a national lockdown, leaving us to enjoy the comfort of our own homes and not much else! This has also resulted in the move back to online learning until at least mid-February. Depending on government guidance, there is a chance that further changes may be introduced including the possibility of a longer lockdown and continuation of fully online learning. The university is working hard to update us on the plans the government has for students and how lectures will be structured up until the end of the semester.
?Sometimes it is not always easy to ask for help when we need it but we know the change has been difficult for many students. Together we must make the best of the situation we find ourselves in so here are our tips for effective learning and studying during lockdown ...
Create a schedule for yourself
It is very easy to lose track of time whilst being stuck in one space for so long and can easily lead to procrastination and fatigue. Social media is a massive distraction so I would suggest making a rule of only checking it once every hour and staying on it for no more than three minutes at a time. Of course there's an app for this.
Don’t spend too much time alone
Working from home as a student is so flexible that it can be the most comfortable kind of work you will do; however, you can feel quite lonely while at home. Always make time for self-indulgence and try to keep in contact with others wherever possible.
Find ways to stay motivated
Working from home has its benefits like, not having to leave your house for a 9am lecture. Although, you need the self-discipline to not roll over and go back to sleep every morning. You need to be your own boss when you work from home because if you don’t stay focused, the quality and quantity of your work will take a hit. Resist!?
Be Kind to yourself
I encourage you to be active whenever you have time. Going for walks and sometimes even working out with Joe Wick’s can help you feel energised to power through the day. This is a difficult time, take some time for mindfulness activities.
A few Sustainable Living Tips
I'm sure we can all agree that the world could really do with all the help it can get! Now that we are spending more time than ever at home, it is an opportunity to incorporate small sustainable changes to your lifestyle that will benefit both you and the environment! Here are a few to consider trying out ...?
Learn to love tap water
Staying hydrated is very important for our health and can help us stay focused while studying. All tap water in the UK is safe to drink and much cheaper than buying bottled water from the shops! If you feel uncomfortable drinking water straight from the tap, you can always put it through a filter jug first. On average, the cost of bottled water is estimated to be 500 times more expensive than tap or filtered water. With this in mind, why not consider getting a reusable stainless steel or BPA-free plastic water bottle to carry wherever you go? These are readily available in stores, online, and from some accommodation providers so it is worth asking at reception if you are a resident. ?
Treasure your rubbish
It is important to take regular breaks away from the computer. Try to unwind by finding creative ways to re-use items around your home. Don’t stop with a bag-for-life, take a look at other things in your home that you can reuse or repurpose. Sites like Upcycle That can inspire you to turn your household goods into useful, one of a kind pieces.?
You have probably heard the saying "you are what you eat" which is very true. Eating better can make you feel better and give the energy you need to power through a home study session. Being at home gives us a lot more time to meal plan which helps reduce food waste, saves us money and makes maintaining a balanced diet much easier. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough because at the moment the average person wastes around £200 worth of food per year!
The Love Food Hate Waste website has some great tips and recipes that I would recommend you try out. You could also try adding more plant based meals into your diet to help reduce your carbon footprint too!
Now back to study tips ... here is a helpful video on how to study effectively (over 4 million views so you know it is good!) Wishing you the best of luck with your studies this semester!