Navigating virtual study
In the final semester of her Master of Biotechnology, international student Vandana shares her top tips on making the most of virtual study and university life.
Zoom has never been so important. During this difficult time I can’t go out for a meal with a new friend, or catch up on lectures in the wonderful halls of Old Arts that remind me of Hogwarts. Luckily, the University has made the Zoom platform available to students. The best part – you get unlimited hours of video meetings! I frequently use it to catch up with my friends socially and we have study sessions together.
You’re not alone
It might seem like you're completely cut off from the outside world and social events, but UMSU, GSA and various University student clubs run online social events and speed-friending events. I’ve taken part in a few and have found them fun and interesting. Stop 1 is another great place to get support.
As a student in the Faculty of Science, my course coordinators organise regular online catch-ups for the whole cohort to get chatting. I’ve met some wonderful people through these platforms and we stay in touch whenever we can.
Post-its and PJs are your new best friends
Sometimes, it's challenging to stay on top of all my lecture meetings and to-do lists. This gives me the chance to use my stock of stationery and post-its. I find that writing down tasks and activities is helpful in a physical form. I also make a note of them in my planner – so I’m set for the week! To top it all off, I save by not splurging on a new pair of jeans or giving in to retail therapy. I’ve begun to care for and love my PJs – I adore them. I mean seriously, who doesn’t love a comfy PJ?
(Image of Vandana’s workstation at home)
We’re all MasterChefs
We really are. I believe anyone can whip up an amazing dish. I’ve always loved cooking, and the restrictions on going out to grab a meal have upscaled my knack with pots and pans. I’ve mastered the art of eye-balling proportions so I don’t have to worry how much salt I’m putting in my spaghetti or how many cups of flour are required to bake some delicious cookies.
Embrace your inner bookworm
I invested in a Kindle reader and it’s been a great decision. The vast number of books from different genres keeps my mind alive and kicking.
Explore your neighbourhood
Over the past couple of years I’ve fallen in love with the city. Melbourne is so warm and welcoming. I certainly didn’t expect to be studying virtually instead of roaming around the Parkville campus that I love.
(Image of Vandana’s neighbourhood)
I’ve taken to morning and evening strolls for some fresh air. I love the sound of the birds chirping, the feel of the cool breeze and the colourful skies at sunset. This leaves me feeling rejuvenated and ready for the day.
Get your beauty sleep!
Last but not the least, don’t forget to catch up on your sleep. I notice that when I get a full night’s rest, I wake up super refreshed the next day, my energy levels are soaring and I’m ready to take on any task that comes my way. Sleeping repairs tired cells and keeps your body healthy. I try to maintain a set routine every day and I've found this to be extremely beneficial.
This is an unpredictable time in our lives, but the best part is that we'll get through this.
I hope to see you all on campus soon. We’re all in this together!