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Clear agreements with housemates, enough exercise and not being overly strict. These students have almost got studying at home under control and are sharing their tips.
Andreas studying at home.

Clear agreements with housemates, enough exercise and not being overly strict. These students have almost got studying at home under control and are sharing their tips.

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Andreas is studying Aerospace Engineering and is working on his graduation project. He lives in a house with 12 students, three of whom are staying with their parents.

“I normally mostly study at the Faculty and in the Library as it’s hard to study at home. Now it’s going well at home. I try to be strict about having regular breaks and try to ignore distractions. I am working on my graduation project and don’t need to go to lectures anyway. Once in a while I have contact with my supervisor on Skype, and that’s going well. We have nine people at home and we take each other into consideration. We eat together in the evening, but for the rest we all have our own routines. I will graduate at the end of May and will do my final presentation with the jury only, at a safe distance. I think I may be able to share through Skype.”

  • Andreas’ tip: Keep studying throughout the corona time. Then you don’t need to catch up so much later.

Issa is studying Computer Sciences and is in the first year of her Master’s. She shares a house with one person. Foto_Issa%20(2).jpg

“I do have to motivate myself. My subject involves working with others. We meet on Discord and work on a document simultaneously using an online editor. This helps us make sure that we start working at the same time and that we really do something. There are four students in my group and that is manageable. We mostly need to write essays, and make a presentation which will probably be a film.

Our guest lectures are all cancelled. We are doing lectures on Twitch Live and you can also ask questions on it. It may be relaxed being able to do this from home, but it is cumbersome. I help out with the bachelor modules and it’s harder to explain things on Skype than face to face. I have so many Skype sessions planned that I have to turn some down!”

  • Issa’s tip: Do a sport or some form of exercise. This helps to study better.

Luuk is a first year Industrial Design student. He lives with his parents, brothers and sister.

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“Luckily my parents have a big house and everyone can find a spot for themselves. I sometimes help out in the garden and between studying play online games with friends such as Cards against humanity and Scribbl.io. It’s hard to be motivated to study.

We don’t have any online lectures at the moment. We only have some old lectures from a few years ago. We also have online question sessions with the teacher and online meetings with study groups. I have used Skype and Discord for a while now anyway, but for some people they’re completely new. So you need to spend some time on waiting for everyone to be audible and visible. What’s funny is that it’s often the students that have trouble with these systems and not the teachers, ha ha!

The uncertainty at the moment, for example about exams, is what gets me. I am continually checking updates from TU Delft and from my subjects. My mailbox is overflowing. I’m not that worried about my BSA as I’ve already got all my points. The students who have failed an exam and need to do a resit don’t know if they can do the resit. That’s really awful.”

  • Luuk’s tip: Socialising is really important. Play a game online or in real life once in a while. And help each other get back to work afterwards.

Benjamin and Jan live with seven students in a student house. Benjamin is a third year Civil Engineering student and Jan is studying Mechanical Engineering. Jan is working on the last three modules of his Bachelor’s.

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“We made some agreements with our housemates. One was that it has to be quiet in the living room during office hours and weekend mornings. You can read the newspaper or eat something, but the television stays off. We also clean more – we even do the living room every day. We have a big table where most of us now work,” says Benjamin.

“It’s good to have people around you. We help each other maintain a routine and this helps us create an atmosphere to study. We discuss the news and in the evening we watch a film or have a drink. So many things are on hold, such as sports, so we now work a lot in the garden and the kitchen, go for walks and work-out at home,” says Jan. Benjamin adds “I normally play hockey three times a week. Now I have a spinning bicycle at home. It’s helpful to have a few people at home as we push each other to work out.”

  • Benjamin and Jan’s tip: If you have a lot of people at home, make clear agreements to avoid irritations. You live in close quarters and if you discuss any irritations straightaway, you will solve them quickly.
  • Another tip: Have one person do all the shopping and cook and eat together.

Moniek is a third year Mechanical Engineering student and part-time board member of Broach, the student sailing association. She lives in a student house, but is now at her parents’ house with her brother and sister.

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“It’s actually going quite well. My parents are working at home and my brother and sister are also at home. We have agreed on who can sit where. It is quiet in the living room from 08:30 to about 17:00. I went to my parents because I didn’t know how this situation would develop and I’m more flexible here. My parents have a car for example.

Still, I am more distracted here than in the Library. There’s a big puzzle on the table and before you know it, you’ve spent two hours on it. You also don’t have a leisurely breakfast and an hour of Netflix in the Library either. You do have to get used to not interacting with students and the teacher during online lectures. Some subjects are given in empty lecture halls and you see that the teachers have to get used to this. The worst thing is that TU Delft is so unclear. You only hear four working days in advance whether and how an exam will go ahead. I’m not happy about this as I have an exam for the heaviest module – signal analysis – in my whole degree programme and can’t start studying just four days ahead. So I’m just studying continuously.”

  • Moniek’s tip: Keep to a routine and reward yourself. Go outside for an hour or tell yourself that you can stop at 15:00 instead of 17:00.

Is it still hard to get going even with these tips? TU Delft has a few videos online to help with studying. Watch them here

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