Coronavirus, a global pandemic affecting millions of men, women and children around the world has created a universe filled with fearful and worried human beings who live each day in panic. Although the countries lockdown increased fear and anxiety, it gave me the opportunity to work on myself. Despite not being able to come into the university for the last three weeks staying at home gave me the chance to spend more time with my family, in particular my elderly grandparents who had spent the last four months in Mumbai, a yearly ritual for them. Also, I was able to spend more time on my studies, giving 100 percent effort towards my degree, aiming to work to the best of my ability. Hence, self-improvement developed and became a large achievement for myself during the last four months. This was predominately in my university studies as I gratefully became a graduate, though through tough times I was able to overcome any difficulties faced.
Supporting me in my journey to complete my degree was the university’s academic e-support. As although I did not have the opportunity to physically speak with my lecturers I was still given opportunities to communicate with them virtually through online seminars, drop in sessions as well as via email. At the beginning, I was apprehensive about this new approach to studying as this was something I was not used to, thus thoughts came into mind that I would be losing out on support which would be given at the university. However, the university’s academic e-support reassured me that I would still be gaining all the help, information and knowledge needed to successfully complete my journey at Westminster. Although this change felt different at the start the academics approach to teaching and supporting students was indistinguishable to the methods of teaching which was given whilst I attended the university, hence it became easier to adapt to this new system of learning.
Through my experience of continuous academic support towards the students was inspiring. For example, academics made weekly drop in sessions available for students in the lead to upcoming assignments, which gave us the opportunity to ask any questions regarding our studies. After attending these sessions, I felt confident in completing my work as I was offered immense help and guidance from my lecturers. By having the opportunity to communicate with my lecturers kept me focus and motivated, hence I firmly believe it is significantly important for academics to offer support to students particularly with the ongoing pandemic. As covid-19 persists students may face daily challenges that is often not voiced, which can interfere with their studies. To support students at Westminster academics could speak to students by checking up on them and seeing how they are managing with their studies as this will reassure them that they are not alone. As support was offered to myself and others during our time, as a former student I can recognise the usefulness of this support, particularly in keeping motivation levels high.
Aisha Isa, 2020, International Relations and Development.