Though I was disappointed to hear we’d return to online classes for another week, I thought long and hard about what can be done to make an online learning as positive an experience as possible. With a year of on-and-off online learning under my belt, I thought I’d share some of the key things I learned. If you’re a first-year student or considering coming to the university of Auckland, don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to manage online learning.

1 Watch the lectures on time

This is 100% the most important tip, one I and many others learned from experience. Watching the lectures as soon as they’re uploaded ensures you stay on track with the content. The workload is allocated according to the time lectures are uploaded – as long as you stay up to date with them, it’s much easier to avoid stress or feeling overwhelmed.

2 Have a separate study space, if you can

It’s good to break up different tasks for different areas. I like to sit in the sun or go to the Domain to do my readings, and work at my desk for lectures. Keeping little changes in your day helps make a day of online learning feel like it’s moving towards something.

3 Plan your day

This made an enormous difference in how well my days went. Time in lockdown feels endless, but often at the end of the day you find you haven’t done what you wanted to. It’s good to sit and write an achievable to-do list down, with allocated times. It doesn’t have to be rigid, but just making a start on certain things by certain times helps you feel more in control during an uncertain situation.

4 Go outside

I never feel like going outside until I am outside. This reminds me that there’s a still world beyond the four walls of my room, and more than just the things that occupy my mind during the day. Going outside is so good for you; try to go out with anyone in your bubble or even just alone. It will break the day up into chunks and help leave you refreshed and ready for the next part.

5 Exercise

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but without walks to uni and getting around campus, just getting a little bit of movement will make you feel a whole lot better. It doesn’t have to be extreme – just put your headphones on and do whatever you enjoy. 😊

6 Join the Facebook pages and join groupchats

These help you feel connected to others and keep up with important information. Usually groupchats are posted on the pages for those who want to study or chat together, and these are really helpful to remember you’re not the only one in your degree. Just type in ‘Auckland (insert your degree) Students Association, and the Facebook pages should come up. E.g.

Auckland Law Students Association: AULSS

Auckland University Students Association: AUSA

Don’t feel like you have to stick to a routine, or despair if you don’t achieve all you wanted to in a day! Set time aside for your own interests and don’t worry – this situation is temporary, and there is more to the world than your degree. Do what feels right but try to keep up with what you can. And remember, this year online learning will be more polished and there are heaps of services to reach out to if you feel like it’s getting to be too much.

Support for Mental Health:

Financial Hardship Support:

Student Health and Counselling: