As the COVID-19 pandemic forces governments to implement school closures, current students find themselves in unprecedented circumstances both in this country and all over the world. Undoubtedly, a cohort of students may find the flexibility of studying from home appealing; you’re the boss, you can schedule your own day and focus solely on the six subjects you feel will yield the best results for you. On the other hand, others may feel lost without the regular routine of the school bell guiding them through the day and may also feel socially isolated as interacting with peers and teachers on a regular basis is now off the cards.
The important thing to remember currently is that you’re keeping yourself and your loved ones safe by self-isolating. Thankfully, we now have the medium of social media to safety connect with others, and teachers have moved their classrooms to online portals. Teachers nationwide are doing all they can to support students. In line with this, the Griffith College Schools Liaison team would like to reiterate online educational supports for students studying from home at this time. Visit Careers Portal, Folens Online, Edco Learning or iRevise, to access further resources to support your learning at home, whilst you continue to prepare for the Leaving Certificate exams.
Griffith’s Schools Liaison Officer Sinéad O’ Callaghan encourages students to stay focused on the end goal which remains the same - performing to the best of your ability in the state examinations and achieving the results you set out to achieve and have been working towards since the beginning of 5th year. Her top supports for students at this time include Structure, Stops, Screen Time, Self Care and Sleep.
Push yourself to build structure and routine into your daily life at home. You can support yourself by setting alarms on your phone throughout the day. Get up early, take the lunchtime breaks at 11:00 and 13:00 that you're used to from school as this will feel normal to you. Put a timer on how long you’ll study English for, then move onto History or Home Ec for another amount of time. One hour per subject usually works well for most students. Daily structure will help you achieve more and utilise your time well.
It’s not healthy or advised to spend every waking hour studying for the exams; you still have plenty of weeks to prepare for exams in June, so structure your days and build stops into this schedule. Breaks from studying throughout the day are recommended.
Many teachers are now delivering lessons online, e-mailing revision notes and PowerPoint presentations for students to view online. This is a different experience from the regular classroom so you will need to be more aware of the amount of time you spend on screens each day. Screens also include your mobile phone, gaming and watching TV or YouTube. Don’t overdo it. Give your eyes and your brain a break and instead get outdoors for a daily walk, run or cycle to clear your mind. Otherwise, you may experience headaches or sore eyes from too much screen time.
Look after yourself as best you can at this time. This includes exercising or practising mindfulness each day; fuelling your body with healthy, nutritious foods; and choosing healthy meals and snacks throughout the day will help you to concentrate and perform well with your studies. Also, personal hygiene is more important now than ever, so ensure that you keep yourself clean and feeling fresh, especially your hands.
The benefits of a good night’s sleep cannot be understated. Sleep will help your body to recover. It will aid your body in remaining healthy and fighting disease. Sleep also allows you to perform well the following day as it aids concentration and enhances learning.