Returning to campus, school or university with confidence – a 10 point plan

By now, the expectations of, and normality for, students have been completely disrupted. As places of study start to prepare to reopen their doors, many students are feeling uncertain and worried about what life’s going to be like. Going back to school after the summer holidays, even in normal times, can be challenging for three key reasons.

  • First, there’s the uncertainty around what will have changed. Post Covid-19 this is exacerbated as no one really knows what the ‘new normal’ will look like.
  • Then there’s this weird social isolation thing that no one wanted or even thought they could cope with for longer than a couple of weeks, though has now become ‘usual’ and it’s both weird and challenging to even contemplate being part of a group again, let alone interacting with others face to face.
  • And then there’s confidence, or lack of it. As people have been working and learning at their own pace over the past few months, it can feel daunting going back to working with others and you may feel even more pressure to achieve. 
Here’s our 10-point plan for preparing a successful return:
  1. Read the government guidelines for a safe return and any other advice your school, college or university have provided.
  2. Work out the practicalities, for example travel plans (maybe have a dry run) and think about other logistics such as moving into student accommodation, and so on.
  3. Have some responsible socially distanced face to face interactions with friends and course mates to ease you ‘back into the swing’.
  4. Write down what you’ve learned from your period of enforced isolation, what you’ve achieved and how this can potentially be useful when you return to your place of study.
  5. Reassess your goals so you’re clear about personal and education priorities.
  6. Reassess your previous routine, think about how this will change and plan accordingly.
  7. Revisit previous achievements and relationships, and think about how you can build on them, what you’d do differently and so on.
  8. Have a one to one with your tutor about your return and how you can make your return to education a success, making sure goals, priorities and logistics are clear.
  9. Accept that change is inevitable and tough to deal with, look upon this as positively as possible, take things slowly and celebrate small achievements.
  10. Observe, ask questions, think about what’s going on around you, be flexible, offer and accept help.

If you’re taking some time out from studying,  think about how your skills might be transferred to job roles you might be interested in, and seek professional career advice from a recruitment consultancy (free to jobseekers) and/or online jobs board asap.

Good luck!

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