Going to university, and living while studying independently for perhaps the first time can be a stressful time in itself. Given the current situation with the outbreak of Coronavirus and with schools, colleges and universities shutting their doors in line with government guidance, pressure is mounting on students like you to study remotely.

Whether you are staying in your university accommodation or house shares, or have moved back home - the majority of courses are encouraging coursework to be completed from home. 

In line with this, at Randstad Student Support we want to ensure that you are still able to access the university support that you are entitled to whilst studying remotely. We are already working with your universities and your support workers to ensure that we put everything in place for you to do this. 

In the meantime, to help you through this uncertain time we have put together some top tips for accessing and benefiting from your support whilst at home.

Five tips for accessing your university support remotely:

  • Communication, communication, communication
  • Choose the best type of remote support for you
  • Schedule in your support early
  • Set up a workstation
  • Set yourself targets

Communication, communication, communication.

During this unusual and unsettling time of social distancing, it has never been more important to communicate with your friends and family, your university tutors, your support worker(s), and the Randstad team. We have already spoken to our support workers, and many of them are more than happy to continue offering support remotely for as long as you require it. Your worker may have already reached out to you about this, but if not, please contact the team via the following email: studentsupport@randstad.co.uk and we can arrange this for you.

If you have spoken to your support worker and they are unable to offer you support remotely at the moment, please don’t panic! Just get in touch with us and we will work hard to match you with another available support worker, as quickly as you can. In the meantime, you can read our top tips for completing your degree remotely.

Choose the best type of remote support for you.

The beauty of accessing your support in this way is that there are many options available on how you want to do this - you are not limited by location or travel time to get to an in-person session. All students are entitled to access their support remotely, and some of the options available for doing this are:

  • Skype
  • Over the telephone
  • FaceTime or WhatsApp call
  • Google Hangout

So, if you’d prefer to chat on video call or are more comfortable away from the camera, there is a solution for you.

A student who has accessed their support via Skype said:

Skype support for students is extremely valuable and useful. Via Skype, support providers are able to help us with numerous things, such as referencing, writing styles and much more. In these weekly sessions we also use our time to discuss any concerns I may be having and how it may be affecting my work. These sessions have been amazing in boosting my confidence and makes your time studying by yourself easier and more fulfilling

Schedule in your support early.

So that you can maximise your productivity while studying, and keep on track, we’d advise you to arrange your support as early as you can for the coming weeks, once you know what your schedule and situation will be.

This will ensure that you get the support you need when you want it, and will reduce any anxiety you may have about studying or accessing your support.

Set up a workstation.

Although the prospect of working from your bed might seem great at first, in reality, this is not the place where you will be inspired to do your best work! Aside from the temptation to squeeze a quick nap between coursework and support sessions, working from your bed will also blur the lines between work time and rest time, which could lead to disruption in your sleeping pattern and increased anxiety levels. 

So, where possible, get yourself set up with a workstation that will help you to concentrate, be productive, and make the most of your support sessions.

We understand that this may not be possible for everyone to get themselves set up at a desk depending on your living situation - you may have housemates or family who also need to work from home so space is tight, or you may live in a studio flat or house share with no communal space. If this is the case, try and get yourself set up on a table or similar in your room. We’ve seen some fantastic examples out there of people using ironing boards and baths as desks!

Set yourself targets.

Hopefully, you’ll see the benefits of accessing your support from home if you work smart and set yourself ongoing targets. For example, putting into practice some techniques your support worker has given you in your work, or completing that essay that you’ve been putting off for weeks.

This will also allow you to reflect on your work and see how much you have completed, which can be fantastic for boosting your mental wellbeing. You can also then feed back what you have completed to your support worker, and receive more tailored support from there.

Some benefits of accessing your support remotely are:

  • You can access your support from home/off campus
  • You can book in sessions flexibly around your schedule and commitments
  • You’ll get access to our best support workers nationwide
  • The ability to document and screen share makes support easier and more effective

If you are looking to get your support set up for you to access remotely, please email us on studentsupport@randstad.co.uk. Please also reach out to us if you have any feedback on your virtual support or would like any further advice.