Studying remotely, when that was not the intention, is quite an adjustment.
This can leave us feeling challenged and frustrated. These feelings are normal but left unchecked, both our studies and wellbeing can be negatively affected. Whilst online study remains a necessity, working through these difficulties is likely to help improve both our wellbeing and academic progress.
Below you will find three common blocks (barriers and misconceptions) that can prevent us from effectively engaging in the challenge of studying offshore.
3 am lectures & other irritations
There are things outside our control and it's OK to feel frustrated; these situations are difficult. But, it's important to focus on what we can control.
1.Take control of your own behaviour - try to be flexible and shift your schedule for now.
2. Find ways to give feedback - report the challenges. It may be useful to communicate through SELTS or directly to your course coordinator.
3. Connect with your class mates - use virtual chat, socials or noticeboards to find others in a similar situation. Watching lectures together online or hosting study groups might be helpful. Be brave and ask.
Waiting for responses can feel isolating and anxiety provoking. Whilst we wait, attending to other tasks, taking a break or getting outside can help. We might also check our expectations - what is a reasonable time frame? Ask your peers or your tutor as a starting point.
It can also help to work on our communication style. Emails that clearly define the issue are easier to respond to. If you want some help in this area, the Writing Centre can provide some tips.
If you're still struggling to receive a timely response, consider escalating your concerns. Your course coordinator is a good first point of contact, and then perhaps a year level coordinator.
Coping with border closures, uncertainty and offshore study can bring up a whole range of emotions. It’s normal to feel anxious, sad, frustrated or resentful. In the situation focus on what is in your control. Instead of pushing away or trying to run from how you’re feeling, try practicing ACE.
- Acknowledge the feeling: Take notice of what you might be experiencing, e.g. emotions, memories
- Come back into your body: Reconnect with your body, e.g. take a deep breath, stretch, get up and out of your seat
- Engage in what you’re doing: Re-engage with the world around you, e.g. notice 5 things you can see or hear, or bring your focus back to the task at hand.
If you want to know more and take the next steps, check out FACE COVID.
Below are three things you can do to boost success.
Adapt your study approach
- Set up your study space and ensure you have everything you need
- Remove distractions from your study space
- Schedule high demand tasks to times when you’re most alert
- Design a morning and end of day routine to transition you from relaxation to study mode
- Take breaks from study and include rewards e.g. Facetime a friend during your lunch break
- Aim to work for shorter blocks of time. Instead of planning a four hour study period, work for 30 minutes then have a break. Or, try splitting your workload up by task. Instead of trying to complete the assignment in one go, divide it into quarters and tick off each quarter as you go.
Make time to connect
They are lots of ways to connect both in our study and personal lives when we think creatively.
- Find out how people can communicate between classes - is there a chat forum, notice board or social media group? If not, can you start one? At least 10 other people will be thinking the same thing.
- If classmates are in the same time zone, suggest a virtual study group. Don’t get disheartened if not everyone responds. The bigger the group, the harder it gets to find a time to meet.
- Organise regular times to talk to friends using virtual platforms. It can be fun to schedule virtual meal times or games nights as an alternative to simply talking.
What services can I access?
Although you aren’t physically on-campus, the University is still here to support you online. If you are having difficulties with your study or have questions about your CoE, contact the International Student Support Advisors. The Writing Centre, Maths Learning Centre and Peer Assisted Study Sessions are helpful for a range of academic issues. Student Care is available virtually, or by phone or email to provide independent advice on a range of academic, administrative and welfare grievances. Counselling Support is available by phone and virtually to help you navigate the impact of remote study on your wellbeing.
No matter where you are in the world, there are a range of quality online resources to support your studies and wellbeing - refer to the need more info section.
Need more info?
Working from home
- Working from home at UOA - Designed for UOA staff and identifies some useful technology related information.
- How to study at home - 11 Effective Tips - Youtube video
- 8 tips for staying productive when studying at home
- Studying online and at home for university students
- How to study/work from home successfully - Youtube video
Connecting with others
How to succeed - from Online Study Australia
View our general Study Tips section on the Wellbeing Hub for information on:
- Success tips
- Find balance
- Manage time
- Groups & tutes - you may have to think creatively with this content so that it can be adapted to an online environment.
Managing psychological health
Find lots of online option on the Wellbeing Hub's Mental Health section.