The new academic year is upon us, and whether you are just starting out at university as a fresher or returning for yet another year, you are not the only one who might be concerned about what the months ahead will look like if or when you return to campus. Following the government’s latest u-turn on the A-level moderation system, many students will be wondering what happens now.
All students who received lower grades than they were originally predicted will now have had their grades raised to what their teachers believed they were capable of, meaning if a student was predicted AAA and was given BBD due to the moderation, their grades will have increased to the higher, original prediction.
What should be one of the most exciting times of a student’s life might be shaping up a bit differently than they had imagined. However, it is not only students who are busy navigating their way around the new chaos, as universities across the country are still trying to figure out how best to handle the influx of students and the limited number of places, as well as find ways to ensure all students and staff are kept safe while the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
Universities are now putting together detailed plans for measures that will minimise the risks to staff and students such as introducing “bubbles” among flatmates, protective measures across buildings and facilities, or implementing a face covering policy. Whatever the protective measures are, it is still important for your family and friends around you to help you prepare for university and support your health and wellbeing during this unprecedented time.
But how can you prepare for something when they do not know what to expect? If you are someone who struggles with big changes and fear the unknown, now is a great time to engage with your inner tool kit for adapting. The reality of the situation cannot be changed, but we can use this time to learn how to accept it for what it is.
Spending too much time planning about the unknown or thinking negatively about things we cannot control can be draining mentally and physically, but there are many online resources to help you hone in on stepping back from these fears.
Practicing mindfulness is a great tool that can be done any time and anywhere. Methods such as meditating, breathing exercises, and other practices can help reduce the stress you are taking into the next academic year and feel more in the moment to embrace the change.
Your first term might even be taught online, meaning you’ll either be staying in Beverley for the time being or you’ll be learning the course from your university accommodation, which means you will be actively practicing a working from home ethic. If this is something you are conscious about, there are a multitude of online resources that can help you with adapting to studying and working from home, and keep you committed and engaged with the course, including online teaching materials, library resources, and academic software.
Don’t forget, if you are a student living in university accommodation and have to self-isolate because you are symptomatic of Covid-19, your health is the first priority. Send an email to your lecturers and the university’s support services so they know your circumstances, but do not worry about missing lectures, seminars or workshops. Your university will provide you with information on how you can still access the teaching materials.