With the ongoing strikes and the Beast from the East snowstorm disrupting our university schedules, there are plenty of excuses to lose motivation and fall behind with your work. But just because you aren’t on campus absorbing your lecturers’ knowledge doesn’t mean you should slack off. With all this free time, you have the opportunity to set your own schedule and learn outside of the classroom. Plus, the more efficient you are with your work, the more time you’ll have for snowball fights, hot chocolate dates, and nights out.
Schedule your work around your lectures
Staying on track always takes a bit of forward planning regardless of whether or not you have lectures. Don’t just write off those extra hours you have now that your lectures have been cancelled; use this time to your advantage. In your usual 11 till 12 lecture time slot, hunker down, flip through the lecture slides and take notes as you usually would, or alternatively do the required reading.
Meet with your course mates to discuss the material
Group discussions are what I find to be most valuable about seminars. Setting up a study group in the library, in a cafe, or even online is a great way of making sure you get some of that all important discussion time with your course mates. Having a group study date also holds you accountable for doing the readings even when you don’t have lectures.
Supplement your notes using new methods of learning
With a little more free time on your hands this is the perfect opportunity to foster your learning in new and fun ways. Podcasts are amazing for learning new information in a really accessible manner. Whether you’re interested in history, politics, or economics there will definitely be a podcast out there for you. As a social sciences student I’m partial to “Hidden Brain” from NPR (National Public Radio) which uses sociology and psychology to explain contemporary social issues.
Make time for fun activities
Personally, I have found the best way to stay motivated is to make time for doing what you love, whether that’s going for a run, baking a cake or hanging out with your flatmates. I like to have a thing or two to look forward to everyday to motivate me to get my work done. Just because you may be losing some contact hours due to the strikes doesn’t mean you should stress more than you normally would, so don’t forget to factor in some relaxation into your schedule.
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