By Chelsea Pinner and Wesley Rolston (Mentors and MRes Humanities graduates at Newman University).

As part of Newman University‚Äôs mentoring scheme we are creating content to discuss master’s level and postgraduate level learning (however we hope this content is useful to all students in some way).

This short blog details tips on how to avoid feeling isolated while studying, especially now in a time when our societies and communities become isolated with the imposition of lockdown. We both finished our masters last year and went through the first lockdown struggling to stay motivated and keep working, but completed it to the best of our abilities. So, here are 3 tips we feel are essential for masters and post-graduate students when there is a bigger expectation on you to work independently.

Tip 1: Keep connected.

Whether this is to students on the course, to your lecturers or supervisor or to family or friends around you. Having times to share your feelings on your work can allow you to release any doubts, worries or tensions you may have, as well as share the positives too (as in our experience we, on many occasions would forget to focus on what we did well).

Tip 2: Find your motivation.

Finding your reasons for doing your work can always help you if isolation sets in. It becomes your driving force, the energy that pushes you onwards. This is not easy, do not get us wrong here. You many need to dedicate time to re-motivate yourself. However, there is use in doing it as it may just be something you write down, your motivation that you look at when you are struggling, or you may get others to remind you of it. Always have a reason for doing your work and it will keep you going.

Tip 3: Make space.

The last tip is to make space for yourself to have time to do other things. We both found that when we did other work, helped other people or did things we enjoyed, our masters work was stronger. Giving yourself time and breaks to do other work, other activities and doing what you enjoy will always be useful.

We hope these quick tips will be useful to you. If you want to meet with us then you can join onto the masters / post-graduate mentors zoom session every other Wednesday 7pm to 8pm. The next session is today, 17th February, and you can find log in details on the Intranet. Keep safe.