Studying the Bachelor of Design during Victoria's stage-3 restrictions

With the University of Melbourne transitioning into a virtual campus and Victoria enforcing social restrictions, the life of students has gone through a momentous change.

As part of MSD at Home, undergraduate ambassador and Bachelor of Design student Khaing shares her experience studying from home, staying motivated and being a student during stage-3 restrictions.

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What are you studying and what’s your current study set-up?
I’m a third-year Bachelor of Design student, majoring in Construction. I share a 35m² (approx.) apartment with my housemate. Our small balcony has become a little luxury we treasure most during this period. We use our small dining and tea tables as our study desks. For a better study environment, the tea table is placed right beside the balcony window. This gives us the opportunity to study under natural light as well as something else to look at when we’re struck with boredom or eyestrain.

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What practices or techniques have you found most successful in ensuring you get your work done in the at home environment?
When the university announced classes will be conducted entirely online, I was excited. I wouldn’t have to worry about getting to an 8am lecture, spending the entire time trying to stay awake and then forgetting to catch up afterwards. A few weeks in though and I started losing track of my timetable and being unproductive.

Being in the same place nearly 24/7 has been daunting even though I’m a relatively “indoorsy” person. For the past six weeks I’ve tried to do some other tasks aside from catching up with lectures and completing assignments. I’ve been relearning my third language by hand-copying 3-4 pages of the news or a novel in that language every day and I’ve installed a few games such as CookingMaster and BlockuDoku to kill time. The Forest app has been great in helping me concentrate by tracking my study hours and locking my phone for periods of time.

Facebook Messenger and Google Drive have been the main tools keeping me connected to friends and family and getting assignments done. A group assignment was recently completed through hours of Messenger Calls and real-time editing on Google Docs and Excel. I hope my group assignments in the future will be easier now that I’ve successfully completed one.

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What do you miss most about MSD and life before the restrictions?
Even though I’ve got access to social networking tools, I wish I could see my classmates and collaborate with them in person.

An unfortunate disruption due to the pandemic has been the cancellation of our site visits to construction sites and access to the library for report and essay writing. Although it can be difficult to find a study space in MSD, I miss the times where I would study at the small triangular tables on level 3, looking down at other students on level 1 getting busy with their tasks and assignments.

If I was to share any advice on what has worked for me during this time, it’s try and stay positive, do a lot of cooking and eat well.

P.S. I am thinking about starting meditation!

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