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The recent coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a global standstill. Not knowing when everything will go back to normal and having to cope with the current circumstances has left me apprehensive.
Furthermore, the closure of schools and universities around the world has left students unmotivated in terms of academic performance. Personally, I have struggled with staying focused and motivated during these trying times.
Yet, I have decided to discuss the barriers I faced during quarantine and how I overcame them in order to help and inspire others.
There are a few things I’ve struggled with during the past month in terms of learning. My peers and I were unsure of whether we would take our upcoming exams. This led to me being disorganised, unmotivated and unable to stick to my previous schedule.
The university was very supportive about the situation. Our professors had posted the remaining lectures online and also held weekly meetings to make sure we were engaging with the content. As a result of this, I ended up spending prolonged hours in front of a screen, which caused many headaches and eye strain.
Another issue I faced was clinical placement being postponed for safety reasons. This left me unable to practise nursing procedures, as I required the appropriate environment for this. Therefore, I was anxious for the further development of my clinical skills.
Volunteering was also an option, but I decided against it. I currently live with elderly family members who have medical conditions and I’d be putting their health and safety at risk.
“I decided to stick to my schedule as best as I can to stay motivated”
While the current global situation can be fearful and disheartening, it is important to stay positive and focused. Here are a few methods I used to help me cope with the barriers I faced.
I decided to stick to my schedule as best as I can to stay motivated. I also made changes to ensure that it accounts for my current circumstances and lifestyle.
There were other methods that helped me stay motivated during these circumstances. These included using the Pomodoro method with friends. We would work for 25 minutes at a time, take a five-minute break and compare how much work we did. After four sessions we’d take a 30-minute break and do hobbies or activities we enjoyed.
In order to combat the headaches and eyestrain, I put together organised, handwritten notes so that I could continue studying the content without relying on my laptop all the time.
Unfortunately, I was still unable to improve my clinical skills, so I decided to watch educational videos on how to perform the procedures I needed to practise for the time being.
As expressed earlier, the current situation is far from ideal and has caused global panic. Despite this, there are still ways to stay positive and make light of the situation.
Now is a good time to learn more about yourself, learn a new language, take up a new hobby, catch up with family and refresh your memory by going through last semester’s notes.
There is still hope and many ways to pass time before everything goes back to normal. Make the most of it while you can.
Louisa Fernandes is a second-year nursing student, RCSI Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain