Studying successfully in the virtual summer semester

End of normality: everything new

Corona changes everything. It is like someone hitting the pause button. Everyday life has become a foreign word just overnight. Meeting friends and family, partying through the night, leisurely afternoons in the park or a working day in the library: these activities are resting for an indefinite period. Many of us are concerned about our relatives’ and friends’ well-being. Because of internships and part-time jobs that finance study life disappearing, many existential worries emerge.  Some of us also find ourselves in our “old” childhood bedrooms, in a backstreet in a small village, caught without 100% network coverage, no high-speed internet connection or much modern technical equipment. The state-imposed measures have led to a loss of normality. That is, what unites us. However, normality gives us security and stability in an increasingly complex world. The loss of normality therefore inevitably is bound to a loss of security and stability. All these circumstances have an effect on studying. Studying requires full concentration, goal orientation, discipline, continuity as well as time and knowledge management. With this in mind, all of these conditions require routines, rituals, fixed procedures as well as phases of regeneration and recovery. Even if Corona changes everything, it does not change one thing: studying remains an ambitious undertaking.

Creating new normality

The beginning of the summer semester pushes the play button. This button starts anew, a virtual study world. One thing must be clear: a virtual semester is a real semester. The joy of being able to “stay at home” will lead to endless frustration if – by winter semester at the latest – things go back to “normal” and the goals set and the required certificates of achievement have not been (sufficiently) achieved or submitted by that time. Even without the more or less comfortable chairs in the lecture halls, the quiet, contemplative atmosphere of the library and the currywurst in the cafeterias, there is enough to do. In addition to the amount of knowledge that can be acquired, another opportunity opens up: experience in a “real laboratory,” by actively shaping and developing what it means to catapult scientific teaching into the virtual age. The digital world is currently the rock in the surf, offering normality, order, reliability, continuity and exchange. For this summer, we need to orient ourselves towards this “new normality”.

Structure is everything. When the world outside stops turning, it is up to us to divide the day into effective, productive and sustainable time slots by implementing clear structure. This is not that difficult. Even without physical time at university, our week has 7 days. Even without physical time at university, there is a morning, an afternoon, an evening and a night. Even without physical time at university, lectures take place; in a virtual way, but no less important. Even without physical time at university, we can familiarize ourselves with areas of expertise, we can research literature, we can read, evaluate, repeat what we have learned and deepen what we already know.

Cohesion in virtual university life

Professors and other lecturers are still there for us. You will not walk alone through this new world. We want to go with you. Weekly blog entries and Instagram or Facebook updates will motivate you to successfully master the semester in the usual way (i.e. full of zest for action and with clear goals in mind). In this blog, you will find our input for your output. Participatory actions on the social media channels bring momentum to student home office. Click here to see the social media channels of the department: