The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China which was first reported on 31 st December 2019 has spread to more than 200 other countries around the world. The sudden onset and increased transmission of the coronavirus COVID-19 in India and many countries abroad has resulted in the worldwide governing bodies declaring a state of public health emergency. This has resulted in the first ever global lockdown which began in India on 25 th March 2020. The national lockdown was announced for a period of 21 days. This is to promote the principle of “social distancing” to break the chain of physical contact and transmission which may help to curb the transmission of the novel viral disease.
As a result of the lockdown, most schools, colleges, and public and private sector companies have suspended normal functioning and shifted to alternate strategies of working. Some schools and colleges have suspended classes and cancelled examinations until further notice, few schools and colleges have shifted to the online mode of learning, and some businesses and companies have initiated work from home options for their employees.
The lockdown provides some extra time to focus on different academic-related matters like entrance examinations and a future career. It is difficult to get back time once it is lost. Hence, it is better to utilize free time to do beneficial things than waste time on insignificant things. If you are a student faced with the sudden dilemma of cancelled classes and TOO much extra time, read on to know how to effectively use this free time during the COVID-19 lockdown:
For Professional Development:
- Prepare for Entrance Examinations - this is the right time to prepare and study for important entrance examinations like CET, GATE, CAT, MAT, NATA, NEET, etc. which are mandatory for professional courses. Students can prepare a daily schedule which includes a timetable of subjects to study, references books and guides to check, and practice exercises to help in easy learning and understanding.
- Do an Online Course - with extra time, it is good to learn a helpful course online. These courses help to ensure continuous learning, learn new skills and subjects, and develop and strengthen skills that a student already possesses.
- Enroll for Online Career Counselling - it is good to compare and analyze different courses before finalizing one. If this is difficult to do alone, it is a good option to attend online counselling. Galaxy Educational Services, Bangalore has the best Academic and Career Counsellors who are experienced and qualified to provide guidance and assistance. Students will receive complete information about courses and colleges, academic and career counselling, and tips for a bright and successful Future.
- Quit Bad Habits - extra free time tends to bring along feelings of boredom, laziness, and procrastination. These emotions tend to cause depression and discouragement. This is a good opportunity to use this time to manage different activities like learning, hobbies, exercise, etc.
- Learn a new Language - this is the right time to learn a new language which may be the local language of the state a student wishes to study in like Kannada in Karnataka or Marathi in Maharashtra or foreign languages like French, German, or Spanish; these help to develop the intellectual lobe of the brain. It is an important requirement for higher studies and is a notable highlight for an excellent Resume/CV
- Conference Learning - studying alone tends to get boring and monotonous. It is a good option to create a conference call or group to discuss and share ideas, valuable points to remember, and important learnings.
- Work on Career Planning - plenty of time is available to think about personal aspirations and dreams and to construct a plan for the Future. Students can draw out a list of their strengths, weaknesses, and skills to identify and analyze their area of interest. This makes it easier to work on their future goals when the lockdown is over.
- Explore Courses and Colleges - this is the right time to search for courses of personal interest and colleges that provide these courses. Students can identify and choose courses based on the subject, personal interest, and skills. Early identification helps to save time later during the college admission process.
- Check Eligibility Criteria - this is also the perfect time to check the eligibility criteria for the course a student is planning to study and identify and note down the eligibility for the course. Important criteria like age, minimum marks/aggregate/CGPA, compulsory subjects, and rank in qualifying examinations should be noted before applying for the respective course. If found not eligible, students should work on improving their academic performance, increasing skill set, and continuously practice for entrance examinations to increase their chances of eligibility.
- Search for Scholarships and Internships - higher education may be expensive in certain colleges or if students do not qualify for Merit-based entrance examinations. To avoid paying very high fees for a course, students should work on identifying and securing available scholarships to help minimize the financial burden. It is also wise to check for available internship opportunities as it helps to increase practical work experience and also minimize the financial burden.
- Create a College Checklist - this extra time can be used to make a checklist with the dates of registration for a particular course, registration start and end dates for competitive entrance examinations, official entrance examination dates, and dates of result announcement. An additional checklist with required documents, permissions, official signatures, and photographs can also be made to ensure proper planning and organization.
For Personal Development:
- Work on Yourself - extra time provides a good opportunity for self-improvement and a chance to work on enhancing, developing, and improving oneself. It is an ideal time to develop vocabulary, boost writing skills, and improve computer typing speed.
- Enroll for Online Personality Development Classes - it is the perfect time to enroll for courses that help to develop and enhance individual personality. Online personality development classes and counselling is provided by Galaxy Educational Services, Bangalore. Their guidance and assistance help to build and enhance a student’s personality for a successful and prosperous career.
- Update Your CV - this is the perfect time to update your CV with relevant information related to academic history, awards, recognition, skills, and external references. Effort should also be made to work on a professional cover-letter and develop a personal statement of purpose (SoP). These help to increase chances of being recruited in the future.
- Develop a Hobby - this is the perfect time to learn something new like Reading, Art, Crafts, and Calligraphy. These help to develop and enhance the creative lobe of the brain and improve skills.
- Speak to a Mentor - if students are confused about what choice to make for the Future regarding which course and college to select, it is a good option to speak to an experienced Mentor or Counsellor for guidance and assistance. The experienced Academic Counsellors at Galaxy Educational Services, Bangalore assist students by providing tips to enhance self-awareness, make better confident decisions, and find the path for future success.
- Become a Volunteer - this is the perfect time to help the community and society. The best way to do this is by attending online awareness programs and spreading knowledge to other people so that they may also benefit. In this way students can also contribute and serve the community.
- Take care of Physical and Mental Health - it is essential to take care of physical and mental health and wellbeing during this time. To maintain physical fitness and health drink plenty of water, eat healthy fruits and vegetables, and get at least 8 hours of sleep. To take care of mental health practice yoga and meditation; this will improve concentration and mood.
- Keep in Touch - social distancing does not mean cutting off ALL forms of communication. It is important to keep in touch with friends and family through phone calls, video calls, and social net-working apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Spend Time with Family - this is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with the Family. Without the excuses of tiredness, exhaustion, traffic, and shortage of time, there is plenty of free time to spend doing various activities like cooking, board games, and karaoke.
- Plan for the Future - it is important to plan activities for the phase after the lockdown. Once the national lockdown is over, students should begin to design and finalize their plan both for a future course of their interest and a career. Based on their personal needs and requirements in their checklist for academics, examination dates, skills and certifications, and additional development courses, a proper plan must be created to effectively manage time and execute all the activities successfully.
The lockdown has resulted in the disruption of normal functioning of schools, colleges, and businesses BUT has also provided everyone with extra time to focus on things that they can do to help themselves both for their professional and personal development and enhancement. In this way time is not wasted but can be effectively utilized to build and construct an improvement plan. Once the plan is followed sincerely, it is sure to result in accomplishment, success, peace of mind, productivity, victory, and satisfaction.
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