How the University have supported me throughout the pandemic
Starting university can be both exciting and scary, especially during a pandemic. Fortunately, The University of Manchester has been providing online resources and support for students, in order to adjust to this new way of learning. Below, third year Theological Studies in Philosophy and Ethics student, Sasha, details her experience of online learning and support at UoM.
Online lectures and seminars
In my experience, online lectures work really well because most of them are pre-recorded, meaning that you are able to stop/start, make notes and engage with the content and activities at your own pace. Some of my tutors record themselves on YouTube or BB Collab/Zoom and then they give you time to use the chat functions, breakout rooms and discussion forums, in order to interact and share ideas with your peers.
I particularly like the breakout rooms on Zoom because they allow you to talk to other students in a more relaxed environment, making it less daunting to contribute suggestions. Live online seminars also provide a more informal outlet for you to discuss readings and raise any questions. I have found the online resources quite clear and accessible, as the next best thing to face to face teaching.
Tutor or advisor meetings
This year more than ever I have had lots of support from the University through my academic advisor and dissertation supervisor meetings. They are usually 1:1 meeting’s, where my advisor and I schedule a meeting on Zoom in order to keep on top of my dissertation work and to discuss any issues or concerns I may be having.
I really recommend attending meetings with your advisor, tutor or peer mentor, as they can offer you advice on anything from extra support in your studies to sports, wellbeing and careers events. The University is there to help you with whatever you need, so use the extra support meetings and office hours to your advantage.
As I am a third-year student, I am currently running weekly PASS sessions, which support first year students with their transition into university life and help facilitate their studies. PASS provides a safe space and a comfortable, relaxed environment, in which you can vent about any worries or concerns you may be having.
The sessions also offers students an opportunity to ask any questions about university life, in which we can help find solutions or point you in the right direction to someone who can. My co-PASS Leader and I create engaging chilled out sessions, which you, the students, get to choose the topics to discuss and gain motivation during these difficult times. Both the University’s services and other students are here to provide any support you may need.
Finally, the University provides a number of helpful resources that you can use for extra support. Good luck with your studies and stay safe!
- Counselling Service – you can arrange appointments with a counsellor but also join webinars and online workshops about managing your wellbeing and workloads.
- SALC Student support – can help with things like mitigating circumstances applications.
- DASS (Disability Advisory and Support Service) – DASS can offer tailored support for any mental or physical conditions that you have, more details on their website.
- Coronavirus and isolation guidance – useful tips on resources available to you throughout lockdown and self-isolation.
- Other student support services – workload management, academic support and positivity and wellbeing support.
- Instagram: @uomwellbeing