‘Dear Aspect, my housemate refuses to follow new COVID restrictions and I don’t know what to do?’
This can be a problematic and isolating situation, and especially challenging if you and your housemate are good friends. These restrictions can be difficult, so first, we suggest that you try to have an open conversation with your housemate about their intentions, attempting to try and put yourselves in each other’s shoes. You could even talk to your other housemates and see if they feel the same as you, or if they understand why the rules aren’t being followed. It is important to consider your own, and others’ mental health at this time. Is your housemate refusing to follow the rules due to loneliness? Try and make following the restrictions as sociable as possible – maybe suggest a movie night or pamper evening?
‘Dear Aspect, I am really struggling with online learning this year as I have no contact time with my lecturers. Any advice?’
This year has been so different for students – the first thing that we suggest is just to cut yourself some slack! Start celebrating your smaller successes because it isn’t easy nor what you signed up for! Be sure to contact your lecturers if you’re struggling, but also make yourself a healthy routine, balancing work and down-time. Make sure you’re comfortable in your surroundings and have a place away from your bed to work, such as at the table, or at a desk if you have one. Studies have shown that having indoor house plants can improve concentration and productivity by up to 15%! You could set daily achievable goals or even treat yourself to new pens/highlighters to make doing work that little bit more satisfying.
‘Dear Aspect, I am worried that I may have to spend Christmas in my University Halls without my family’
It may be daunting having to spend this Christmas away from your family, but modern technology allows us to stay connected in a way that nothing else does. So the first tip is to stay in touch with your loved ones. If you have housemates, see if they are in the same position, and if so, you can see if a Christmas Dinner or Secret Santa could be an option to make Christmas feel somewhat ‘normal’. If there is a way to have a socially distanced catch up with friends or family, this could be nice to hold onto hope for better times. Check out the How to Cope with Loneliness article for more information.