Seemingly never ending November

My educational experience has once again been altered. I spent the beginning of this month in isolation as unfortunately one of my flatmates contracted the coronavirus. Thankfully her symptoms were not too severe, and no one else in our household was infected. However, it did mean that we all needed to move to entirely online working. 

I found the two weeks quite difficult. While I personally quite enjoy having pre-recorded lectures, as they are easier to take notes from. Suddenly also having my seminars be online made me begin to hate the four walls of my room, and focusing became a struggle. To those of you who find yourself in a similar situation my advice is to be kind to yourself! Except that there are days where your brain is staying firmly turned off and don’t try to force yourself to work because that will often be detrimental to both your mental health and the quality of the work you produce. The method that worked best for me was to alternate days, I’d have one day of heavy working and then the next day I’d relax watch a movie or spend time with my flatmates. 

When exam season comes around it’s very easy to isolate yourself- especially when we’re currently experiencing (another) national lockdown. In the long run this does more harm than good. While it’s okay to do full on days it’s important that you break them up with days where you just relax, if not you will burn yourself out. Remember we are allowed out for exercise and essential shopping, a little bit of fresh air can do a world of good and you’ll probably find yourself with fresh new ideas when you then go back to working!

During lockdown I had the added bonus of an essay due (lucky me!) This was my first attempt at essay writing at university and I admit it was a rather terrifying experience not lessened by the fact that I knew I had to start writing another one soon after handing it in. If you're anything like me you're probably hating the fact you have to turn in an essay that you know isn’t your best work. Unfortunately the reality is that while some people will do well in these practice essays, the vast majority of us will struggle. Yet, I have been assured that this is very normal and expected! The best way to think about it is the more mistakes you make now the more corrections you’ll get given- meaning you won’t make those mistakes in the essays that count! So just try your best and don’t let it overwhelm you.


Author information

Antonia Thompson White
University of York |