I know. You were scrolling aimlessly through your social media and you clicked on this title by mistake. You’ve already read everything there is to know on social isolation?—?you might as well write your own blogs, that’s how much of an expert you’ve become. Read this, knit that, watch this, learn that.
But you’re not worried about what to do in isolation, are you? You’re worried about after. Will I graduate this year? Will I be able to attend that assessment centre? Will I still be employable? Many of our students are worried about their future prospects. And the truth is the future is uncertain. We are waiting for answers just like you.
It’s certainly not easy to be a student in these uncertain times. The stress accumulates, the anxiety increases, isolation restricts social activities. For those students working on zero-hours/precarious contracts in hospitality, it is an increasingly trying time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t re-frame this time of social isolation as a time of learning and development.
Whilst Universities and Students’ Unions can’t provide you with the same service, that doesn’t mean we can’t provide you with alternative digital support. If anything, this allows all our students to access our materials in their own time, according to their own learning habits.
“I don’t know where to start”.
That’s ok. Just follow these steps for studying:
1. Use Blackboard. Read your slides, write down questions, email your lecturers with your questions about the content for clarifications.
2. Research online. Use Google Scholar and your online University library.
3. Talk to your peers using social media. Just because you’re not physically in a seminar with your colleagues, doesn’t mean you can’t recreate those conversations via an online medium: chat via whats app, Facebook groups, Skype calls.
4. Breathe. I know it’s hard not to panic, but we’re all in this together. The University Leadership is constantly in emergency meetings to discuss about the major things: exams, graduation. If they haven’t emailed yet, they haven’t forgotten, they’re just trying to take the best decision for you. So, have a little patience, do some mindfulness activities, watch a movie, catch up with your reading.
“What about the Students’Union?”
The Students’ Union is more than just a building, it’s a support channel, and we are here to support you digitally! So re-frame this time of isolation as a time for digital support, digital representation and digital learning.
We are constantly updating our website with the most current information.
Student Societies will be supported digitally with online elections of their new committees. Please contact your Society Coordinator.
If you are interested in helping the community at this trying time, contact our Volunteering Team and they will provide guidance on how to do so.
If you are struggling from a financial, housing or mental well-being point of view, please contact our Advice Centre.
Your Students’ Officers are still here to represent you. Contact them if you have concerns and want them to voice these to the University!
The SU Elections are still happening! We are here to support you with your digital campaigning. Voting also happens online and will be open from the 23rd of March until the 1st of April.
Here at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union, we are bringing our learning online.
1. We started this blog, where we will post different materials and tools on developing your leadership skills and on self-coaching.
2. We will continue to deliver online1–2–1 personal development coaching sessions that are bookable via our Union web page
3. And we will bring some of our training sessions online.
*all of our services are open only to Sheffield Hallam University students. If you are reading this article and are a student at another institution, please contact your institution to access the relevant support networks.
Social isolation simply means it’s safer to not meet in person with your friends or peers for now. It’s a small sacrifice to protect the most vulnerable in our society and stop the spread of the pandemic. But social isolation doesn’t mean you can’t continue what you’ve been doing until now: get involved in your society, run in elections, learn something new. You’ll just have to do it differently.
The truth is this virus will pass, the job market will go on and you currently have a marvellous opportunity: to continue to develop your skills and (digitally) get involved in the community. In between your Netflix binge, your crafts, your cooking, your Skype sessions with your family and your studying, you can dedicate some time to checking our blog and checking our online materials. We are here to help you! So keep an eye on our future blogs! #LearnSomethingNew #DigitalLearning #GetInvolved.