The current #Coronavirus pandemic has presented a unique set of challenges to university students across the country.

Social distancing measures, self-isolation and working from home can all easily lead to feelings of boredom and loneliness, which can affect mental health and make it difficult to study effectively.

1. Focus on quality study time

It’s easy to slip into a habit of procrastination but creating a structured timetable so you’re doing the same tasks at the same time every week is useful for maintaining focus. This is easier to stick to than a haphazard learning plan and frees up headspace for your studies, which may otherwise be taken up by figuring out what to do and when to do it.  

Once you know the specific task you are about to do, it’s important to dedicate uninterrupted focus to this. The Pomodoro Technique[1] is a time management method used to break work down into 25-minute intervals, separated by short breaks. Set a timer on your phone for 25 minutes and do your best to focus solely on your set task during the interval, not interrupting yourself.

After each 25-minute burst, take a short break to grab a drink or have a walk around the house. Do four of these pomodoros then take a longer 20-30-minute break.

2. Have a dedicated study space

If at all possible, your study space should be somewhere not used for other purposes. Areas such as your bed or sofa should be avoided, as they can lead to associations of these spaces becoming mixed up with social areas, which may impact on your focus.

It’s also important to make sure you’re sitting comfortably with good back support. Use cushions to lift yourself up so your eyes are level with the middle of your screen and your forearms are parallel to the tabletop.

If you’re studying in a shared space, try to agree on set study times where you can be undisturbed.

3. Stay in touch with your course mates

Keeping in contact with course mates is a great way to break up your day and alleviate feelings of loneliness. Set up a virtual study group like you would in person, where you meet on Zoom or Google Hangouts once a week to chat about any course-related issues that you may be able to help each other with.

You could even set up virtual coffee breaks or lunches with each other to ensure you’re making time for socialising outside of academic work.

4. Make use of your housemates

If you share a house with fellow students, or friends and family, take advantage of this by quizzing each other on your respective subjects. This is another way to break up your day and provides an alternative method of learning.

Quizlet is a free assistive app that can help with this and is available to download onto any Wi-Fi enabled device.

Collaborative learning is an effective method for reinforcing knowledge, so try taking some time to explain theories or concepts to your housemates.

Of course, if you are self-isolating this may not always be possible, in this case try to make use of video calls as much as you can to apply these ideas in a virtual environment.

5. Review assessment material

Practicing assessment technique is a crucial part of your study. Use your workshop tasks and activities, mock assessments and specimen assessments to test yourself, then check your answers against your notes.

Remember that your tutors are still there to help, so ask questions about feedback on mock assessments, as well as any other areas you’re unsure of.

6. Take care of your health

Taking care of your mental and physical health is vitally important. Bearing in mind lockdown rules, getting some daylight and exercise is great for a change of scenery and to get your heart pumping. Even soaking up some spring sun in the garden for a few minutes can do wonders for your wellbeing.

Although gyms are closed, you can do some excellent workouts from home. Whether you are into yoga, cardio, or weightlifting, basic equipment can be purchased online for a relatively small amount. Even something as simple as a skipping rope can give you a terrific workout.

Try to move around throughout the day, even just for a quick stretch to prevent aches and pains.

Also, maintaining a balanced diet is a big part of staying healthy. Nutritious meals, along with plenty of water, will help boost your brain function.

Everyone is facing an unprecedented set of challenges at the moment, especially students who are often under pressure at this time of year anyway due to assessments. 

Making use of technology is a great way to bridge the gap of social distancing and bring people closer together without compromising health. Even a simple video call to catch up with a friend can bring a smile to your face and alleviate those feelings of loneliness and boredom.

Kelly Burwood, Head of Student Support Services at The University of Law


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Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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