What’s it really like studying in a virtual campus? Condé Nast College MA Fashion Media Practice student, Zoe Goetzmann shares her top tips for studying online during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Top tips for studying in a virtual campus
Finding a balance between your work and home life isn’t always easy. And with this current lockdown situation, which has seemingly disrupted all of our lives, here’s a short video diary on how I’ve been spending my days plus tips on how I’ve attempted to stay motivated, productive, healthy and ‘sane’ whilst at home (still living in London).
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Get organized / Make A Schedule
During this isolation period, it’s very important that you find a way to establish some semblance of ‘a normal working routine.’ It’s all too easy (and tempting) to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day (trust me, I know!). When working from home, set a schedule for yourself: make a to do list, write on your calendar/agenda/planner (etc.).
Essentially, do everything you do on a regular or ‘normal’ basis (saving the latter portion for some much deserved time off to go watch Netflix, do some reading (etc.). You’ll feel a lot better knowing you accomplished a solid portion of work beforehand. As Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘Don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today’ (a motto I’ve tried to live by – pre-quarantine).
Change into “work clothes”
As fashion students, I think we all know the importance of a good outfit and the overall effect that it can have on your current mood. For whatever reason, I’m much more productive when I’m out of my PJ’s, sweatpants or athleisure wear. By doing this, you’re in the right, ‘professional’ mindset to get all of your work done. Even putting on makeup, doing your hair, nails (etc.) is a good way to transition into ‘work mode.’
Even though we’re only allowed to go outside for a few minutes per day for general exercise as well as shopping for groceries and/or basic necessities, it’s important to set aside some time to be active (I can only stare longingly outside of my window for so long). Even if it’s just dancing around your house or making a Tik Tok – it still counts as exercise. Keeping your body and mental health happy, healthy and safe is the best thing that you can do for yourself during this specific time.
Find Your Work/Study ‘Sweet’ Spot
Whether it’s sitting on your couch, lying on your bed, working at your desk and/or a table, I think the best thing about working from home is that only you know where you’ll be the most productive; you’re not being forced to sit or learn in a specific way.
Give Yourself A Break
Set aside a few minutes in the morning, post-lunch and during the evening for some ‘me-time.’ Read a book or a magazine. Spend a few minutes (only a few!) on socials. Check emails. Take a walk. It’s all about going with the ‘ebb and flow’ of life. When things get a bit too exhaustive, sometimes you just need to take some time to decompress. You never know when ‘a break’ could lead to something ‘ground-breaking’ (to quote an episode from Gossip Girl).
Likewise, try giving yourself ‘a phone’ or ‘WIFI’ break as well. Especially when you’re in [online] class, turning your phone on silent, airplane mode (or putting it in an entirely separate room) will help you establish that ‘sweet’ work-life balance.
Connect with people
Take this much-needed ‘social distancing’ time to connect and reach out to people via social media, email (or even through the phone!): current friends, friends you’ve just met as well as old friends of whom you may’ve lost contact with. Especially if you’re living alone, having contact with someone on the outside can definitely help to maintain a sense of balance as well as to ease any of your personal anxieties during this emotionally stressful period.
Get Creative!!!: Creativity can strike at any time
Even though I’m still keeping a similar work schedule, throughout this past week, I’ve started to think about all of the creative ideas and projects that I set aside because I was too busy with life and school (i.e. cooking, writing, filmmaking, ‘vlogging,’ etc.). During a time when everything in life has slowed down a bit, take this opportunity to do something creative. Despite all of your additional school and/or other work, don’t let any of these factors hinder you from pursuing your own projects (maybe they’re even cross-related). Use this time of ‘social repose’ to ‘kick back’ and plan out your next big idea.
Watch Zoe’s video diary over on our YouTube channel…
By Zoë Goetzmann, MA Fashion Media Practice: Fashion Journalism Pathway
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