Great mates Noah and Grace talk staying in touch – and on top of Uni work – during COVID shutdown

Who better to help us get the most out of Uni than other students who are acing their degrees?

Last year, we heard from some of our high-performing students about how they prepare to succeed at Uni. We thought it was a good idea to check in with the again and see what tips they have for online study.

We’ve already touched base with Hammad to see how he’s going. This week, it’s Grace and Noah’s turn.

Not only are they both top students, they’re also Uni besties – so we started by asking them how they’re keeping in contact in iso.

How have you two been staying in touch?

Grace: Noah and I keep in contact through Zoom video calls, which usually end up less of a conversation and more of us just doing dumb things – and a million screenshots.  We’ve also spent a ridiculous amount of time talking about YouTube channels we both watch, and bonding over the latest videos as they come out, or sending each other memes with no context.  We’ve also both perfected terrible Snap-chats to send to each other with the most unflattering angles.  Most of our communication has been keeping me sane!

Noah: I definitely agree with the above.  We found a YouTuber who is basically a love child of us and have been bonding over him together.  We’ve had terribly funny messenger calls, and the odd rant or two. 

Plus, we’re both doing Honours, so we’ve definitely had some thoughts on that, and being able to share them has definitely kept us sane.    

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So, online study. Is it really that different?

Grace: For me, I haven’t found that much of my routine has changed since switching to online.  I keep a list of things to achieve that day and cross them off when I’m done. I also try and keep water by my desk because I tend to find I drink a lot less when I’m at home, so this keeps me hydrated (I’m sure we all know how important that is!).  I also like to chuck music on and dance around whilst I’m doing things – keeps me enjoying whatever I’m doing just that touch more.

What about you, Noah? How have you adapted to online study?

Noah: I’ve found the transition to completely online study to be hard. I’ve always enjoyed being on campus socialising and learning with friends and it is such a different experience online. I have found to being involved in lots of online groups through social media has helped connect me with my friends and peers, and I would advise anyone to see if there’s a Facebook group specifically for their course or even class. If there you can’t find one, start one.

I’ve also found it difficult to put limits on the amount of time studying. I realise in any normal day I would spend time walking between classes, getting lunch and traveling to and from uni. It can be really tempting to do either no study or too much study when studying at home online. My way of solving this is to set really clear boundaries and follow a timetable. I prefer following a timetable over following a to-do list because I can never set an achievable to-do list and end up always feeling like I have to catch up. Timetables allow me to be kinder to myself and still be productive. If you are really close to deadlines or struggling to keep on top of everything a to-do list is helpful but make sure to break it down into smaller items or tasks.

What resources are you using to help with online study?

Grace: Being at home is kind of a perfect time to use your classmates and friends to learn. If you’re someone who works best by bouncing ideas off other people, use resources like Messenger or Facetime to teach you and your friends.  Play Kahoot quizzes to rehearse content. Make meme filled PowerPoint slides and use Zoom to teach each other the content.  The possibilities are endless.  It also keeps you in touch with other classmates and friends, whilst learning as well.

What other advice do you have for students?

Noah: One of the most important things to remember is that the supports we have on campus are still available online. Academics, the PLAs and the library support services are all online in some way or another. If you haven’t used these services because they weren’t convenient, or you didn’t have the time, now is the perfect time. They’re also a great way to talk through some of the problems you have instead of just typing them down – social activity is a precious thing these days.