Testing Time for University Students: 4 Ways to SurviveMarch 27, 2020

It's the best time of time, it's the worst time as well. It's your favourite quote by Charles Dickens, which would make you obsess about setting foot in London and Paris. Travel plans must be put on hold, as about a quarter of the world's population is under quarantine. The coronavirus outbreak changed the world as you once knew it, as you recalled an image of the Sydney Opera House crowded by tourists. It was so early 2020! You were also planning about the upcoming term, but everything went out of the window. It's a testing time for everyone, university students included. We're all in the same boat, and there's always a way. 

It might be a waste of time to wrack your brain on whether students must go to schools or not. You seemed worried about the temperature dropping, but there are more pressing issues to deal with. If the local government decides to keep the universities open, then you wonder if you're capable of handling the coursework during this surreal situation. It makes you worry about your parents, who may be laid off. (Your father talked to his brother, who was based in Toronto, and he was quite alarmed about the news about his wife and only child not having to work starting the week after next. It might be temporary, it might be not.) This could force you to tighten the belt, and you happen to be the type of teenager who must indulge in something in able to excel in your studies. You have to adopt a new approach sooner, but you have to focus somewhere. It could decide the outcome of your performance. How to survive during this uncertain time?

You may retreat to your own bubble, watching music videos, past episodes of reality TV shows (that you won't finish at all) or do the chores (that would catch your parents by surprise). You can do all of it, as long as you keep your mind on your immediate responsibilities. Your studies for instance.

Keep Calm and Find Your Balance: How to Ease Your Worries

Give and take. If you're a generous soul, then this is the right time to let the world know it. You might be surprised that there's no shortage of generosity in your part of the world, but someone must make that first move. You have nothing to lose if you post a message on your university's Facebook page, an inquiry on the food banks and anything related to how you must sustain yourself (during that worst scenario). You must have made new mates, so don't be shy about asking them. Don't be bitter if no one seemed willing to do the same. There are other figures in the university, albeit older ones, who are ready to lend a helping hand. They may know other (generous) students, whom you haven't met. Yet. If you have seen those videos of women fightimg over a pack of tissue papers, selfishness is so un-Australian.

Make inquiries about food bank(s). The touchy subject of the food bank is mentioned in your previous section. It would be important, as your meager allowance could force you to do long walks instead of riding of public transportation. In this regard, ask your tutor, professor(s) or anyone in the university who has been around for quite some time. They might not have witnessed what was it like to live during the Second World War, but it doesn't make their (life) experience count for less. It should prompt you to make that difficult decision, of whether you suspend your plan to live in a flat near the university. It may sound desperate, if not a sign that Mad Max would make a second coming soon. Keep in mind that you have to keep all bases covered, as studying could demand much of your time. If you do, then you must consider the next one.

Does your university provide loan on the Internet? The question seems out of this world, if not ludicrous. However, you might come from one of those remote areas. WiFi could be an issue. If the Internet connection is slow, then you might encounter trouble on how to beat the deadline to your assignments. You might finish your essays longer than you estimate it. And you have lesser time on other things related to the coursework. Your gadget is another thing to worry about. If your parents (or sibling) could lend you a laptop, then look forward to the next item.

Does the discomfort irritate you? Don't deny it if you do. After all, everything is provided here. You might not realize that you have been lucky to live comfortably. You have to think about gratitude later, as you must address this issue right away. You have to tidy up your room, which is the best way to deal with discomfort. It should make you feel good, even a little bit. (If you manage to do this task, then anything is possible.) Your parents may understand your bouts of irritation, as well as impatience. The university is another world, so tell your instructors and other students. It may surprise you that they feel the same way. 

Have You Thought About Other Options?

You may be too late to defer your entry to the university, so you're thinking of dropping out. It's not an option at all. The uncertainty of the situation would make job hunting more challenging than it is. Let's assume that a vaccine would be available by springtime. Think of the effects of the lockdown on the economy. Australia might be looking at a recession, and it could be heartbreaking. Finish your studies first. You have your own support team behind you.

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