Leyre Marazuela, a second-year BSc Management student shares her top four tips on how to survive the pandemic with your sunny student-self still intact.
Who says you can’t still have ‘the best time of your life’ in a pandemic?
When you think of going to university, what images spring to mind?
This time last year, I would have said a week of partying with fellow freshers, lecture rooms packed with bright minds, and a schedule full of society meetings and competitive sports. Ask me right now, after eight months of studying under the shadow of a global pandemic, and I’ll give you…
… the exact same answer.
Sure, we’re now socialising, studying and engaging in extracurricular activities online, but if you’ve got an open-mindset (and shame on you for calling yourself a millennial if you don’t), then there is no reason to let COVID-19 stop you from embracing the full university experience.
After all, they say it’s the best time of your life. Keep reading for my top four tips on how to survive the pandemic with your sunny student-self still intact.
Four tips on how to survive the pandemic as a student
1. Moan (just not too much)
There is always somebody in any group situation who can only see the negative. “Online lessons are boring”, “What’s the point of being a student if you can’t go to the pub”, “Lockdown is ABSOLUTELY AWFUL”.
Well yes, there is some truth in all of these statements, but repeating them ad nauseam isn’t going to get you very far.
TIP: If you’re feeling frustrated, try getting your thoughts down on paper – it’s a really effective way of letting go of all those pent up feelings. And when you’re with your friends and peers, try to consider some of the more positive aspects of working online. Longer lie-ins, no freezing cold waits in line for a bus, and the close availability of your own bed when you need a quick nap between lectures! Like everything in life, no bad situation is without its opportunities.
2. Look after yourself
Self-care is important at the best of times, but the added stress of COVID-19 means that it’s even more crucial to take proper care of your body and mind.
By now, we all know the advice: get enough sleep, eat well, and try to exercise as much as possible. I’m not saying there haven’t been days over the past months when I’ve spent morning through night in my pyjamas, but I embraced these moments and made sure they didn’t run into weeks of confinement.
And don’t forget, humans are social creatures, so connecting with friends and family is key to staying happy and balanced. You might be bored of looking at yourself on Zoom, but don’t let that put you off taking part in an online pub quiz or wine tasting. I know people who have organised full on club nights from the comfort of their own room!
3. Enjoy the here and now
‘They’ say that as millennials, we are consumed with FOMO. In my opinion, the way our generation is handling the pandemic shows that we are a lot more mature than we’re often given credit for.
Lockdown has given many of us the opportunity to engage in more solitary activities such as reading and mindfulness, and I think that we’ll keep some of these habits going even when COVID-19 is gone forever. In fact, there is something quite relaxing about not having to decide which party or pub to go to on a Saturday night.
A slower pace of life can be a reward in its own right, it’s just up to us to make it that way!
4. Recognise when you need more help
Even with all this positive thinking, there may be moments when being a student during a pandemic just feels like it’s too much.
You might be missing your friends and family back home, worried about finances, or finding it difficult to concentrate on your work. That’s normal. In fact, one study found that 71% of students had experienced stress and anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak (Changwon, 2020).
The important thing is to remember that you’re not alone, and that there are plenty of resources out there to support you. Don’t be afraid to speak out and admit you’re feeling vulnerable – it’s actually a source of strength to do so.
If you are studying at LSE, you can speak to your pastoral and academic mentor as a first step. Find out more information here.
Thanks for reading – stay safe, and stay smiling!
My interests include entrepreneurship, strategy, and helping other students out.
Learn more about our BSc Management programme