19 May 2020

Online learning life during lockdown

Maria Fernanda
English language student

Maria Fernanda (Mafe), shares how her first week of online learning has been during lockdown. She gives 4 tips that have helped her to stay connected and keep positive for well-being during isolation.

The day came it was announced to happen…lockdown. I was going to spend 30 eternal days at home? Maybe I would become the best friend of Mr. Boredom and would follow his game, or I would try to quickly plan something different for each day.

I challenged the monster of boredom that turned out to be not so bad after all. Around my schedule of online TESOL classes with the University of Auckland English Language Academy, here are some of the things I did during my first week of lockdown that could perhaps help you too!

1. Keep positive thoughts

I know that sometimes it is not so easy to have positive thoughts and good energy but our body, emotions and mind are connected to each other. We either avoid having too much free time or terrify ourselves at everything that happens. When we worry excessively, feel sad or have negative thoughts, most of the time our immune system weakens and we can get sick quickly.

So put a post-it note on your mirror, closet, wall or door with positive messages or phrases that will give you peace of mind! You can build them yourself or search on the internet for quotes by people you admire. I wrote them on my wall and it worked.

Put post-it notes on your wall with positive messages - it works!

2. Eat healthy and sleep well

Being at home we tend to think that we should get up later and have our meals at different times of the day. This may not work really well because we must attend our English language classes online either in the morning or in the afternoon, do our homework and other activities that are part of our day to day. For this, your body and brain require energy and suitable rest.

Sleeping well has been one of my priorities in order to stay focused and understand my online lessons this week.

One of the advantages of being at home is that I have been able to cook and eat fresh food. To be honest I am improving my skills to improvise and cook something really delicious without spending so much time.

Although if I think about it, I have 30 days to do that without ingredients that experts use or a lot of money. So try a simple salad that does not need cooking your ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, olives, lettuce, avocado, coriander, corn, capsicum, celery and mushrooms. You can add tuna or chicken if you want. As a sauce you can add olive oil and balsamic or lemon. You will become an expert in cooking in no time!

Try cooking a simple tuna salad during lockdown.

3. Do exercise

I must say that I did not really like the idea of playing sports at home however the idea is not to sit all day in front of our mobile or laptop. I love dancing, walking and cycling.

I have actually found on YouTube several short dance classes for those who would like to learn to dance to some rhythm or simply practise a simple exercise routine at home. You can also go for a walk or ride a bike for a few minutes around your house to the closest park or beach. Move your body a little!

4. Ally with technology

Lastly, we are away from home studying abroad. Most of us have our family and closest friends millions of kilometres away; with a mixture of emotions over a single day. Moreover, having 30 days at home without seeing our friends that we have made in Auckland - technology becomes our ally. I thought this was a disadvantage for personal relationships because it took us away from face-to-face contact, but in this lockdown it has become something different without hesitation.

I have been able to talk with my friends and family for long hours about my emotions, concerns, plans and about the activities I do every day. In the end, this incredible opportunity to stay connected online with others makes me feel happy at home and calm! I’m sure the next 3 weeks will go by in no time.

Technology helps you to stay in touch during lockdown

This story was originally published on the ELA website and is republished with permission by the English Language Academy (ELA). The ELA is the English language school of the University of Auckland and provides a range of English courses for international students to improve their English skills, for university study or other professional and social learning goals.

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About the contributors
Maria Fernanda
English language student

Maria Fernanda, (Mafe), from Colombia is currently studying a English for Teaching (TESOL) course at the English Language Academy in Auckland.