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Angelos Mavrogiannis

1 June 2020

Discover how sport management student Angelos has survived this ‘weird’ trimester!

It’s been a trimester like no other but the end is in sight! With final assessments just around the corner, you’ll soon be enjoying a well-earned break from study. But to help get you to the finish line, we’ve been asking some of your fellow students about their tips for studying online during COVID-19.

Angelos Mavrogiannis, who’s in his second year of a double degree in Exercise Sport Science and Business (Sport Management) at the Burwood Campus, shares what he’s learnt and how he’s coped.

How have things changed for you with the move to 100% online teaching?

Well, it has been a time of adjustment, that’s for sure. Thankfully, I adjusted quickly from face-to-face classes to online. I had explored the online resources (Blackboard and DeakinSync) last year, and was familiar with where to find the online rooms and locate the needed resources for each class.

The thing I found difficult with online teaching was concentration/focus. At the start of online classes, it was easier to lose concentration as I was having classes in the same area where I relax. After the first week I created a program/schedule and ensured I remove distractions from my study space.

Do you still feel like you’re in touch with lecturers and classmates?

This has been a challenge. To a certain point, yes, I have, thanks to DeakinSync, the discussion boards and any online drop-in sessions where I can ask questions to my lecturers about the content. As for staying in touch with my classmates, we have created a group chat where we discuss the content and other non-university topics/issues.

On the other hand, socialising has been difficult as the classmates I’m in touch with are people I knew from the first year (so no new connections have been created unfortunately).

What’s the best communication tool you’ve used?

There’s a few communication tools I’ve used a lot lately. Microsoft Teams has been helpful with group components of assignments. Facebook Messenger and Zoom are some other tools I’ve used for general communication with friends and family.

Regarding Deakin tools, the discussion boards are useful as I get to see questions other classmates have about the content or the assessments, but I can also make inquiries myself.

In addition, during my self-isolation I used humour as a tool with the family members I live with, so I can survive!

How are you feeling overall?

In all honesty, it’s weird. At first, I was feeling unmotivated and somewhat confused as well as stressed with the situation. I wasn’t sure how I would be able to keep up with the workload and what would happen with exams. Now, after two months of quarantine, I have managed to regain my focus on the important things that have priority and I’m feeling good. The only issue has been socialising, as it was hard for the past months to not see any of my friends and other family.

What are the positives of this experience and what are your concerns?

I believe that every challenge is for a reason. I was able to sit back a bit and reassess my studies and the future, prioritise tasks, develop my digital skills and form a schedule, as well as take a small needed break from the everyday routine.

Some of my concerns involve exams and how all this might affect my performance and marks, how the workforce and future employment (including placements) has been affected by the virus, and if there will be changes to the Deakin Abroad service (as I was considering applying for a trimester overseas in Year 3).

Has this experience changed the way you think about your studies?

No, it has not. On the contrary, my goals are still the same but now I am even more dedicated to achieving them.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d like to just wish everyone to stay safe and healthy through these times and do not lose sight of what you want to achieve. Creating a ‘to do list’ and having a clean and organised study space are really important, and will help you find that extra motivation you might need.

Also, Deakin has services that are really useful, such as peer mentors and counselling. I recommend having a look at all of the Students Helping Students programs. Exercising and walking has also helped me, especially when I’m in need of a study break.

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