Ciara Written by
from Ireland

Postgraduate

MSc Nutrition and Behaviour

We’ve all found ourselves in a situation we could never have imagined. I’m back at home with my family, and, at first, my days tended to go one of two ways – the productive day, or the stuck on the sofa with Netflix day. I’ve found a better balance now, and a typical day for me looks like this:

8:30 – Wake up, have some breakfast and a cup of tea to start the day.

9:00 – Shower and dressed and read a few pages of whatever book I’m enjoying.

My little home study centre

10:00 – Coffee. Then sit down at the desk and try to plan my day. (I’m terrible at this, and usually end up ignoring it completely). I start working on an assignment, and I admit I have a really nice study space in my room, which helps a lot.

12:00 – I stop for a break and do some yoga. It’s typically only 20 minutes or so, but it’s enough to relax and ease any worries. Then I usually have a cup of tea with my Mam, and I usually end up chatting until lunchtime…

14:00 – (I know, it’s a long lunch) I’m back to work. Something different from the morning if I can, unless there’s a deadline coming up. Switching it up helps me concentrate.

Taking a break in the park

16:00 – I’m really lucky to live beside one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe, The Phoenix Park, and I try and walk there as much as possible. Being in such a large green space nearly makes you forget about the restrictions for a while. The President lives there as well, in a building called Áras an Uachtaráin – probably a nice place to stay in at the moment!

17:00 – This is when my study mode really kicks in, I’m much more focused in the evening. I’ll work away for a good few hours, stopping for dinner along the way (the benefit of having dinner made for you…).

20:00 – Wind-down time. Netflix, reading, catching up with friends on online video chats or even doing quizzes together – it’s so important to stay in contact with friends and family at this time, it definitely helps you feel less isolated. Even a text can make someone feel more connected.

Saying hello to the President!

On a day when we would usually have lectures, they are sometimes live streamed or delivered via virtual classroom, or some are recorded and sent to us afterwards. We’ve started having a Skype ‘Coffee and chat’ once a week with lecturers and others from the course to check in and see how everyone is doing, and I’ve found that a really lovely way for all of us to stay in touch.

If I could say one positive from this experience, it’s that I have great support from my family and feel lucky to be at home with them. If you haven’t been able to travel home or you are having any difficulties, please don’t hesitate to contact Ask BU or your course leads for support – although we are apart, you are not alone.