Learning under Lockdown: #4 | Maritzburg College

Learning under Lockdown: #4

Learning under Lockdown: #4

6th former Johnathan Hoyle shares some great advice

At first glance, learning under lockdown may seem like a major adjustment, but the reality is far less intimidating than that. In many ways, learning at home is very similar to learning at school and just a few minor changes to your mindset will make a world of difference.

The first step to learning effectively is to fall into a routine, but unlike at school where a timetable is printed out telling you where to go and when to go there, you have a fair amount of freedom in your routine at home. Gone are the days of waking up at five in the morning and scoffing down a quick breakfast to get to school on time because at home school can start whenever you want! Want to spend an hour in the morning making the perfect breakfast of eggs and bacon? Go for it. Feel like the midday heat is fogging your mind? Then work in the evening! Is eight o’clock too early for you? Then wake up at twelve! Now instead of sleeping through the first half of the school day, you can just shift the school day to fit your sleep schedule (or lack thereof.)

Once you have sorted out your daily routine its time to get to work. A typical student will take seven subjects and if you spend half an hour on each subject you would end up working for three and a half hours each day and now that we’ve worked that out, we can begin working out how much time we will actually spend working. Life orientation has a fairly light workload and probably won’t take up a full half hour every day, so removing that won’t be a problem. Along with L.O. we can remove Afrikaans (because its boring) and any other subject you would normally fall asleep in. through this optimization you should be able to cut that three and a half hours right down to two hours on a good day with an extra half hour occasionally thrown in for catching up work, leaving you plenty of time in the day to rest and recharge.

This newly found free time may not be as restful as you might hope and I doubt you’d be the only one who feels that way, because on top of our schoolwork and our everyday lives there’s always that uneasy feeling sitting in the back of your mind. That dull sense of anxiety circling inside your mind like a tiger pacing inside a zoo, waiting for its chance to strike. Most of us have grown up looking at disasters from the outside, watching as tsunamis hit Japan or tornadoes dance through the Midwest and sitting at home, watching the destruction on the news before switching to another channel. Having such a disaster hit us all so personally is a new and not so pleasant experience which will, whether you want it to or not, affect all our lives.

To some this feeling may be overwhelming and for those people I have something to hopefully help you. Smile. Find something to be happy about and cling onto it. Find something to laugh at and laugh as loud as you can. The reality is that nothing we do now will stop this disaster, or make it magically go away. All we can do is carry on, and maybe finding ways to smile won’t stop the anxiety, but it probably won’t make anything worse.

Learning under lockdown is a strange and surreal experience I wouldn’t wish to do again, but I like to think I know how to make it easier. All I ask is that you take my earlier advice, laugh at its foolishness, and keep on carrying on.