During the lockdown of COVID-19, we’ve been keeping in touch with our students. Here are Vicky's thoughts on studying in these unprecedented times.
Vicky is in the first year of the FdA Learning and Education, and is one of The Learning Institute's Student Ambassadors.
Living as a student/parent/teacher in lockdown
23rd March was a strange day as there was no 6am alarm and no rush to be in work early. Breakfast could be eaten with my youngest daughter who is 15 – I thought this may make a pleasant change as I am usually out the house at 7am just as she is waking up. Oh, how wrong I was – as a sociable girl not being able to visit with her many friends was not a welcome change so for her having breakfast with her mum instead was just insult to injury! However, I had high hopes for how lockdown would pan out – breakfast just the two of us – my husband is a key worker who leaves at 6 and my eldest a student in Bournemouth. Studying during the morning and then lunch followed by a walk with the dog and then some more studying before making dinner and doing chores and relaxing in the evening. I was being given the gift of time, with two assignments due in I now had the time to do them. Looking back now I realise that this was a very naive viewpoint. So back to 23rd March and after breakfast I put on the news channel on the TV and stayed watching it all day, it was like when Princess Diana died or watching 9/11, I literally couldn’t tear myself away from the TV. This continued throughout the week, I did no studying, no chores, I just sat and watched the tv with fear coursing through me. Both my daughters and I are asthmatic, and I worried that if we were to catch it, we may not pull through, my mother is vulnerable, would she be ok. I can honestly say that my mental health was at an all time low during this week, but I only can see that now looking back.
The turning point for me was at the end of that week various friends and family started sending me jokes and memes which made me laugh a lot, they made me realise that I needed to turn off the television and connect with people and my studies. I am very fortunate in that the group of students at the centre I study at are so supportive, there are always messages checking up on each other and offers of help with studies. Meeting these people has made this learning experience wonderful for me as I know that help is always at hand if I need it.
I set myself daily targets of how much I would do each day regarding my studies and sorted a basic timetable for myself and my daughter. Thankfully, she has a wonderful work ethic and will sit and study and needs very little help from me – in all honesty I have no idea how to help a Year 10 with her studies! I followed this plan for the next two weeks and I finished my assignments and submitted them and I realised that I was heading back to the normal bubbly person that had gotten lost in the first few weeks of lockdown.
We are now 3 weeks into our new module, and all seems to be going well. I am very grateful that we normally have online sessions as well as face to face as this has kept some sort of normality with my studies and has helped me mentally to cope. Only 4 weeks, 1 presentation and a 3000-word assignment to go and that is it for my first year as a student. It has not been the year I thought it would, but I have almost made it.