Coping with School Closures. Advice for Students

Around the world, one of the most common responses to the growing Covid-19 pandemic has been to close down schools. It’s not that governments have it in for schools, but they are places where large numbers gather in proximity each day, and they are a hotbed of infection when a pandemic is in town. This much is true, so it’s a sensible precaution to close them.

The problem, however, is what to do with all this time that the government has bestowed upon you. Being isolated at home is hard enough. You suddenly realise that you have been taking for granted how great it was to at least have the option of going to parties, going to the cinema or a concert with friends. Now you may only have the walls around you, and you have to find ways to spend that time well.

Lucky for you, we’ve come up with several ideas to keep you busy and productive during these times of Covid-19 isolation.

Not Going Crazy at Home: A Guide for Students

1. Start with your schoolwork

An excellent place to start for something to do each day is with schoolwork. You might baulk at that idea initially, thinking that Covid-19 isolation is just a free holiday. You might not realise this, but the routine of daily schoolwork will go a long way to keeping you sane. It’s like a safety net — as long as there is school work, everything is normal.

Staying on top of your homework is doubly essential for those preparing for their GCSEs and A-Level exams. As the exams approach, regular practice of practice papers and continuous revision are needed to ensure final success. The race to the end of these exams is a marathon, and you need to keep putting one foot in front of the other until you get there. 

Dedicate at least 2-3 hours each day to schoolwork, and possibly a bit more if you are preparing for exams. The morning is a good time for this when your mind is most receptive. You can then use afternoons and evenings for other things if you wish.

2. Stay connected with your friends

Your social life will almost certainly take a hit, but thanks to modern technology, keeping in touch with your best friends has never been easier. It’s nice to chat with friends and maintain that feeling of connection, so take time to talk with friends each day.

Try to avoid endless scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feeds. This isn’t the same as real contact. Use Messenger, Facetime or Skype to talk with people face to face if possible. That’s more enriching than just seeing and liking memes on social feeds.

3. Make time for laughs and leisure

Once your schoolwork is done, you need to make time for fun activities, especially those that will make you laugh, for that is, as they say, the best medicine. Line up your favourite comedy shows and movies, share funny things with your friends — the more you can be jovial, the better you’ll feel overall.

If you are lucky and have a garden, or live in a remote area, you should also get outdoors for some fresh air and exercise. It’s fine to be outside for a while, just so long as you avoid crowds.

4. See everything as an opportunity, not a problem

Frustrating as isolation seems, you must try to see it as a learning and growth opportunity. It’s a great chance to spend quality time with family, for example. Alternatively, you could start a new hobby or learn a new skill. The isolation might only last a week or two, but in that time, you could discover a new passion.

Some people say that the devil does work for idle hands. In this case, it’s that needless fear and anxiety enter our minds when we are not occupying ourselves. A busy mind is a calmer and more collected one.

5. When in doubt, read!

One final piece of advice for staying sane — read. Yes, it’s that simple. When you are stuck for anything else to do, opening a book and reading is absolutely the best thing to do. It expands your mind, sharpens your critical skills, and is fun! Even better, you don’t even have to have paper books in your home to read anymore. If you have a smartphone, tablet or an e-reader, then you can access millions of books and read away.

In conclusion…

Remember that isolating from Covid-19 is not just about staying sane, but staying safe. Remember to wash your hands regularly, and avoid crowded places until the threat of the virus has safely passed. From countries like China, we learn that measures of closing schools and social distancing have an enormous positive impact on the progress of curbing the virus. 

Keep yourself sane, and keep yourself safe. Enjoy your time with family and take advantage of the spare time you now have.