On this page, we would like to share tips to make studying at home and online more comfortable.
With the following tips on this page, the UvA would like to help you studying at home. General tips for studying successfully can be found in the A-Z list on the student website.
Following your studies online, studying and relaxing: you are doing it all in one spot now. Does this make it hard for you to concentrate? Do you have difficulty relaxing after studying? Tip: stick to your usual routine. Plan your day as you would when you go to lectures or tutorials on campus. The temptation might be there to change your day and night rhythm, but this can, in effect, disturb the balance between studying and relaxing. Also, it's good to take into account that digital attendance is mandatory, and students need to log in for tutorials.
A good starting point is to set up a schedule for your day. Be sure to include every activity: contact with your fellow students and friends, exercise, reading or watching something, having lunch, or going for a breath of fresh air. Studying and relaxing at set times gives you something to hold on to, provides clarity and consequently some peace and quiet.
Planning is a tool: it helps you create clarity and control over your time. Realistic planning works best. When you expect an assignment to take up an hour of reading time, make sure to schedule 1.5 hours. Doing so will help you achieve your goals, which, in turn, will make you feel good. On the page with more tips for studying successfully you can find a tipsheet with the caption ‘How do you draw up a study plan?’
Are you feeling worried? Your feelings are very understandable and reasonable. It’s also understandable that you don’t want to be occupied with those feelings all day long. Therefore it will help you to create a clear-cut moment in your schedule to give room to your worries. Make sure to write down what you worry about during the day. Writing will help you see things clear and create some distance from the subject. You can also share your notes with friends and family; call on them digitally and look to support each other. Comprehensive information can be found on the Study skills page under the caption ‘Tips – Dealing with obstacles’ in the pdf ‘How do you stop worrying’.
Fitness, yoga, pilates or martial arts: keep on moving and pick your favourite exercise at USC. Going for a breath of fresh air is also possible. But don't go out in groups, avoid social activities and groups of people. Always keep at least 1.5-meter distance from each other. Up to date guidelines about going out can be found on the RIVM website.
Understandably, you want to stay on top of everything that's happening. But it's also wise to shield yourself from overkill. Don’t follow the news the whole time, but choose set moments and limited sources instead.
Make sure to create a fixed location to study at home. Do you study at a table you also use for other activities? Choose a side of the table you only use for studying. That will help you better separate study and leisure time.
The UvA has begun an initiative called Keep in Touch to stimulate social contact between students. Check too whether your study programme offers possibilities to stay in touch with your fellow students. Or find your own digital tools to make it possible. Also, don’t forget to check on the people in your network. See if they’re alright, and let them know how you are. If you keep in touch with people daily, you’ll probably feel less lonely.
Are you living with housemates or family? It's not always easy to create your own space and time to study with focus. Come to an agreement with the people in the house on how to deal with this. Does a housemate or a family member have a favourable routine, then try to profit from it.
These are trying times for everyone. Look out for yourself, see what’s possible and be kind to yourself. Check on yourself a few times a day. How do you feel? What do you need to feel good at this moment? And also, what helps you relax usually? What makes you laugh? Be sure to seek out these positive emotions consciously.
The UvA is here for you too. We offer assistance if you'd like to talk to someone. The study advisers are available by phone or online as usual. To get in touch with a study adviser, first, go to the student page and choose your study programme from the list. In the A-Z list, you'll find the caption Study advisers.
Every two weeks, the student counsellors give a short workshop on how to study at home: Studying at home, a challenge?