Now that government guidelines have changed, we want to support our students in easing their transition back to campus and physical learning. Read our article on the best tips for on-campus attendance.
We are excited to see all of our students and staff in person once again on campus, supporting their educational development in an environment that promotes learning and community. To help ease the transition from virtual to physical teaching and learning, read our top tips on returning to campus in February.
1) We have all had to adapt to change our way of teaching and learning over the past two years. Because of this, our first tip is to know that we are one community at ARU London and we are there to support one another. No one knows exactly what this year will look like and it's completely normal to feel anxiety in the face of that uncertainty. But because of this, we can recognise that there is support around each individual in our community as we all return to campus together to make the most out of the educational experience. We have ensured that the well-being of our staff and students are our priority. This includes the quality of teaching we provide which we have received feedback on from SSLCs (Student-Staff Liaison Committees), Town Hall meetings, and student surveys, as being overwhelmingly for on-campus learning.
2) Our second tip is to be patient and positive with ourselves. Returning to a populated environment may feel overwhelming at times, but we encourage you to try to brush off the awkwardness or reach out to our Student Wellbeing Team for further support. The best part of returning is that we were all familiar with physical interactions with people pre-pandemic - for the majority of us, we have been able to continue those interactions at certain times when restrictions on socialising and commerce were lifted. We are all individuals and so some may find it easier to return than others, be patient with yourself as you relearn how to focus in a physical classroom environment after learning alone at home.
3) Form a routine. Routines are a great way of adding structure and control to your day, while also allowing your organisation skills to blossom. Routines also add much-needed stability and predictability which we crave in times of uncertainty. We used routine formats before the pandemic, so let's utilise these on our returns to stay true to our progressive learning forms to help us really excel. Anything you find important can be fitted into your routine, they are simply just adding time schedules to your actions. We recommend a simple starter routine including things such as morning stretches, your favourite breakfast meal, studying at intermittent times, relaxation periods, and regulated sleeping times. Returning to a routine after being at home for a long period during the national government lockdowns will stimulate our minds and bodies just in time for campus learning.
4) Talk to us. We want to hear your views on returning to campus, what you're loving about it and what you think could develop from it. We want to hear your feedback always, and now is a great time to prepare for the next trimester. You can let us know your thoughts and questions at our Student Town Hall events, SSLCs, or by emailing about attendance to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for health and wellbeing feedback. Our community is stronger when we communicate.
5) This leads us to our next tip, develop your own community and talk with each other too. We have a big family at ARU London, however, we know the importance of direct interaction and so we encourage you to create small bubbles with fellow students and lecturers. You can connect with other students in a socially-distanced way if preferred too. Reaching out to coursemates not only develops our social skills but also our network of opportunities, you never know who may need a hand or could help you out in the future. Now the nation is opening back up, it's time to get creative with our friends!
6) Now that you can spread your wings in the city, it's a great time to explore. We have our building in Farringdon offering several rooms for study, learning, writing, and discussion, as well as our East India locations. Brand new this year we have the 5th floor in the Export Building, offering modern workspaces ideal for studying. If you haven't had a chance to visit our East India buildings, please take advantage of the area, there are wide open spaces inside and outside, with great amenities on location, such as a gym, many cafes and restaurants and shops, and Student Support teams at your disposal. All of these will be a great refreshing shake-up from the usual four walls of our homes we have been make-shifting office and study spaces in!
7) One of our most important tips is to continue with good hygienic practices. Although the government regulations are everchanging and at their current state it isn't a necessity to wear a mask, we believe wearing a mask on campus will help us halt the spread of any new or current strains of coronavirus. We encourage all staff and students on campus to carry on with washing their hands for about 20 seconds with soap and warm water, as well as maintaining a safe distance when possible. To support our students and staff, we are resuming our cleaning patterns in buildings, with surfaces and areas being cleaned often.
8) Our final tip is to go with it! When we stop producing outputs, it can be even easier to fall into bad habits, procrastination, and inactivity. Once you start, we know it's hard to stop and we are excited to see you on a roll. It may sound high energy, but when we sink into a big pause, we find ourselves becoming overwhelmed in the future by all the work we have put off, and to make matters worse, there are usually tighter time restraints too. Our Student Support services are available always, for those who need motivation and those who don't - everyone can use the encouragement of our teams.
If you haven't done so already, please read our new attendance guide too, here. This goes into detail about our new attendance procedure and how to ensure you are properly registered in your classes. We look forward to seeing you all on campus very soon and spending 2022 with you in person.