What should we be doing with our time during the ongoing strikes?

Whether you’re in full support of the lecturers’ strike or you are secretly thinking “how could you do this to me right before assignment season”, the impending industrial action doesn’t have to mean the be all and end all of academic success.

Disruptions to class timetables are not an excuse to do nothing. In fact with less contact hours taking up our time, now is a prime opportunity to start hitting the books and make the most of the library.

An industrial strike might sound stressful, especially if your tutor goes MIA. But first let’s get some perspective.

The University of Edinburgh has announced a four day strike beginning February 24th and then another two five-day strikes beginning March 2nd and 9th. In reality this is not a lot of time, so no need to freak out.

A helpful approach to take during this period is one of optimism.

Appreciate the fact that no lectures will allow you to catch up on your independent study. No lectures also most likely means no extra reading.

Instead you can take the time to tick off the tasks on your to-do list and get finished those that admittedly have been sitting there since the beginning of the semester.

Don’t like the idea of working solo during this period? Perhaps you are missing your class-sized interactions of scheduled lectures and group tutorials?

If so, there is a great alternative that you should learn to take advantage of.

A good compromise to the looming lack of social learning in the days ahead, may be to organise a study group. Meet up with your tutorial/seminar group around George Square and discuss the questions you raised whilst doing your reading for the classes that should have gone ahead that week.

This is is an easy way of keeping up with the work whilst still engaging in discussion and engaging with your class-mates – just like you would on a non-strike week.

Industrial strikes won’t prevent you from creating your own make-shift study sessions.

Book out a class room or take over one of the study pods in the library – but make sure to check the picket line locations if you don’t want to cross one accidentally.

Campus is full of places to get your revision on. Just make sure you turn up early as strategizing will be key in scouting out the perfect work area amidst the hoards of other students also on the lookout.

On a more serious note, make sure you watch out for any changes to submission deadlines, in class-assessments and lab research.

The strikes may impact when certain essays are due, providing you with a complementary extension. Get your facts and information straight though, you don’t want to get caught out. Ask lecturers beforehand about how academic requirements will be affected at the time.

It is important to remember that industrial action may not affect every course. Some tutors may still be running lessons or will remain contactable via email. However, if your lecturer is on strike and consequently unavailable you can always email the Student Support Team in your school if you require any urgent advice.

Make the most of the strikes these coming weeks by keeping to a schedule. Don’t allow yourself to adopt an unhealthy sleep schedule and definitely dont isolate yourself from both your books and your study buddies.

Try and wake up at the same time that you would if you had class that day and spend the same number of hours at your laptop or in the library to ensure that you don’t fall behind.

Your normal work/life balance can be maintained in a number of ways: whether this be independent study or group revisions sessions, know that cancelled lessons really aren’t the end of the world.

Take your time and catch up on your reading, research and writing, and you will be sure to maintain a steady yet successful productivity level during the 2020 industrial action period.

Illustration: Hollie Joiner

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