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How I balanced studying whilst working from home

With the many pandemic restrictions I contemplated whether or not it was wise to continue with my course. Textiles Design with Business studies depends greatly on contact hours and in many ways, progress is gained through time spent in the studio. Despite this, the adapted curriculum proved me wrong.

I have gained new skills

Studying and working exclusively from home was initially a concept I disliked as I was used to the quiet and distraction free environment of the library, however, having all the equipment in my kitchen saw me make progress in areas I would not have otherwise. For instance, setting up the loom was something we had constant help with from technical staff. Now this is something I have learnt to do on my own. Still with guidance from staff (via teams) I was put into a situation that paid off and I have gained skills that I otherwise struggled with.

There is more flexibility with my learning

There is also a lot of freedom when choosing when to work, and the fluidity paid of as I was able to learn more skills. I also had more time to spend on my work as I would otherwise have limited workshop time to work on my samples.

The free choice in study hours did have some drawbacks, as the lack of a premade schedule saw me take on more personal organisation. I found that I struggled with concentrating at home and so, it was key to create a timetable to ensure that I kept making progress. Something I found extremely helpful was to not only organise my time by what aspect of university I would be doing, but also where I would be. The change of space would help greatly with focus, and the change of scene was refreshing. Weather it be at home, in the park or at the beach, I found this to be extremely effective in keeping some structure.

Teams kept me in contact with staff and course mates

Additionally, me and many of my course mates created a study group via teams. This helped all of us, as we shared advise and ideas. Also the social aspect helped deal with the isolation of lockdown.

I therefore realised that just because university was different, it was by no means a lesser experience, and in many ways the more open structure was beneficial.

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Joseph Humphries • 30th August 2021

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