”Don’t panic, re-plan”
Sandra Michael is studying for MSc in Engineering, industrial economics. Thanks to planning, clear routines and continuous contact with classmates and teachers the switch-over to distance education in her opinion exceeded the expectations.
Sandra is one of all the students who due to the Coronavirus had to experience a switch-over from on-campus to distance education.
– I honestly got a chock when I first heard it. I had lots of exams, assignments and important lectures coming up and felt like ”this will never work out”.
Recovered from the initial shock Sandra sat down, focused and started to make a plan.
– Organisation and planning are important for me. I started going through my current and upcoming course syllabuses, checked the deadlines for assignments and exam dates and then made a plan for how to setup my studies during the remaining part of the semester. This provided a valuable overview and made me calm despite the new situation, she says.
Sandra lives in Västerås at her parents’ place. In order to feel more comfortable with studying at home she created an office in her room, bought nice pens, pads and post-its.
– It felt important to create an ”office feeling” in order to separate studies and leisure, she says, and adds that she’s more than happy to, when possible, sit outside in the sunshine in the garden or in a park.
How do you think that the distance teaching works?
– Above expectations! I’m positively surprised over how well and smooth it is to have lectures and exams on distance. The teachers are good at describing the procedures. I must say that I felt a bit worried beforehand but it went really well.
Sandra thinks that one of the success factors is having a continuous contact with classmates and teachers through digital channels.
– In our class we call each other through video calls and meet through Skype. This is important to be able to discuss and exchange ideas. I’m also emailing my teachers rather often and get great help from them. It’s important to dare to ask for help, especially now since we don’t meet each other physically in the same way as before.
What are your thoughts on the future with potential distance education?
– It’s the people you miss the most and I hope that we can switch back to on-campus education soon. But if this won’t be the case and this situation lingers, distance education also works great. Attitude is key. Don’t panic from the change – re-plan instead, she concludes.
Best tips on how to succeed with distance education
- Make a plan for your studies the rest of the semester.
- Stick to your routines.
- Create a separate place where you can study in peace.
- Take breaks regularly. Keep in mind that you should last in the long run and for that you need recovery and exercise.
- Set up goals, when having completed one you get to treat yourself to something.
- Stay in touch with your classmates to exchange thoughts and ideas.
- If you’re stuck, contact your teacher/study advisor to find a solution.
- Last but not least: Keep in mind that this is a temporary situation. It will shift and hopefully become even better than before. Together we’ll get through this, with love and collaboration.