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Studying and self-isolating: the lowdown on lockdown

Evelyn Levisohn

Mar 23, 2020

With some campuses closing, and classes being rescheduled - COVID-19 is having a huge impact on our schools, unis and TAFEs already, with plenty more still to unfold in the coming weeks and months as the government updates its recommendations and we collectively try to ‘flatten the curve’.  

Gemma, studying a Bachelor of Business and normally an on-campus student, told us "I’m trying not to be stressed, but this is the time where assignments are starting to be due and we’ve got group assignments too. I've tried online study before and I didn’t really like it, but we all just have to adapt and go with it for now."

So many students have found themselves in lockdown, and although some assignment dates have been pushed back and there may be leeway - if you’re used to the face-to-face camaraderie of campus life, all this self-isolation might start to feel really… isolating.

So how can you maximise your study time while stuck at home? We have a few ideas.

Make sure you have a comfortable, work-conducive study space in your home

Hopefully you have a desk space, or somewhere you can use as a desk. If not, think about how you can mimic that (even if it means commandeering a corner of the dining table - however the quieter the space, the better). You’ll need:

  • a comfortable chair
  • enough table space for your textbooks, notebooks and laptop/computer
  • stationery supplies
  • a good internet connection (could be a tough call, we know 😂) 
  • a timer (old school egg timer or phone is fine)
  • maybe some hand sanitiser!

However you’d like to set up your space, make sure it’s the kind of space you WANT to be in, and that feels nice to study in. If you need motivational quotes stuck up everywhere, go for it. If you’re more of a minimalist, KonMari it up. It just has to be yours


Make sure you familiarise yourself with the tools you'll need to study online, and participate fully in your course, from home. Does your lecturer do Zoom meetings? Google Meets? Good old-fashioned Skype?? Download it, learn it, love it. 

Create a study schedule or routine 

Being disciplined with your routine becomes even more important when you’re stuck in the house and don’t have the bookends of your commute to campus, or the time-slots of your lectures to work around. You’ll only have yourself to answer to, and you must be vigilant with yourself. Make sure your schedule includes regular breaks (approximately every 2 hours): to stretch, take a short walk, do some yoga, or make some tea (stay hydrated! 💦). And use your timer: set a time for break and a time for study. You could use the Pomodoro method for maximum productivity.

It’s a good idea to list your goals for the day, and see what you can get through. Try to watch any lectures online that you would have physically attended, and take notes as if you were sat in the classroom.

Download our free study planner

Move your social life online (as if it wasn’t already)

Maybe you can start a group chat with your classmates, to share tips and motivation, and encourage each other. Or FaceTime your best friend as a reward for finishing a study task. You can even schedule a ‘lunch date’ with your peers - set up a video call and eat your lunch together, on the call. Join an online dance party on TikTok, or have a watching party on Netflix.


Know where to look for help

So many universities are helping their students in many different ways through the COVID-19 crisis with extra online support available, financial aid, mental health helplines and more. Contact your Student Services team to find out what support is available (and remember to support others in your community any way you can - even if it’s just checking in on people). You can of course use Studiosity when you get stuck on a study question in subjects like maths, accounting, statistics, referencing, physics, or assignment research - 24/7, wherever you are, our friendly Subject Specialists are all waiting online to help out. 

>> Check if your university offers 24/7 study help with Studiosity, here.

You can also submit your written work, essays and assignments, through to Studiosity anytime for really detailed, useful feedback in less than 24 hours.

Finish your day by prepping for the next day

We’re all just taking it one day at a time right now. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and being kind to yourself too. For a quick productivity boost: write down your list of study goals/tasks to complete for the next day, before you ‘clock off’ for the night. 

Look after yourself and your mental wellbeing

Make sure you get dressed every morning as if you were going to leave the house. Practice gratitude, (that is real physical practice) - it can do wonders for your mental health and keeping a calm head in these uncertain times. Just write down three things you’re grateful for every day. It can be anything: your health, your loved ones, a fast internet connection, access to toilet paper. At least three things every day that you can be thankful for, and record them somewhere. Try to move your body every day, to get your blood flowing; there are many at-home yoga or workout sessions available online. Maybe even take up meditation - there’s no better time to try something new!


Things might be uncertain for a while, but lots of support is available and plenty of study can still be done, if you know where to look for help - and yes, getting through it also involves a few calming distractions. 🍪📺💻📚🚴🛀💤

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