Academic restart

Academic restart

Student Veronica Pot shares tips on how to approach the new trimester.

Veronica at a recent tree-planting day organised by Wellington Conservation Volunteers.

Kia ora! I’m Veronica Pot and I’m in my final year of my undergrad at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. I’ve been involved with the Wellington International Leadership Programme and Wellington Plus Programme, and I’ll be writing a series of three blog posts for MyView about being a student here at Wellington. The Wellington Plus programme is focused on personal and professional development and local volunteering, including charities and getting involved on-campus.

Like many students, I found Trimester 1 of 2020 really tough. Changing to online study, different assessment tasks, and not being able to socialise with my uni friends as I did before lockdown was hard to adjust to. To try and stay on track during lockdown, I used a planner to organise each day; I scheduled breaks for coffee and lunch, cycled through my courses so I wouldn’t get bogged down in just one subject, and I tried to go out for a walk each day (not so successfully!). Keeping a routine really helped me keep on top of things.

My favourite view from the University: The Majestic tower, city, and harbour at sunrise.

It’s going to be a bit weird being back on campus, and it’s perfectly normal to be worried or anxious. If you need to be on site for laboratory classes or tutorials, make the effort to attend, because as well as them being mandatory, they’re also a great way to meet your classmates. Online delivery was one of the hardest things to adjust to in lockdown. Before that happened, I loved how I could go to the Kelburn campus, study in a quiet corner before class, attend lectures, and engage with the teachers. Student services are back up and running on campus, and you can always go to the library for somewhere warm and quiet to study!

Wellington International Leadership Programme (WILP) is a great thing to get involved in.

If you have been feeling a bit lonely, you can always join a University club to meet like-minded people. Clubs range from social societies to sports and skills-based groups, so there’s something for everyone. The Recreation Centre also has a social sport schedule you can join in and get moving!

In a changing world, it’s hard and scary worrying about what to do after university—I think these things too! Your degree is a part of your journey, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. Balancing university, hobbies, work, and time for yourself is essential. Sometimes you just need a mental health day, or something fun to look forward to each week for motivation.

I hope this blog has given you some food for thought. I’ll be back again soon with a post on how to get involved with university life!

Veronica Pot is a final-year student doing a BA/BSc in Biotechnology, Japanese, and Classical Studies.

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