Open Colleges

Returning to study in uncertain times

by Elizabeth Harmon
Posted: May 25, 2020

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Starting a new course can be exciting for several reasons. Yet in these uncertain times, it can cause anxiety. You may have unanswered questions on whether your study can go ahead, what format your learning will take and whether professors will be available.

This article explains why it’s still valuable to develop your skills during these challenging times. You will also find tips on how to stay motivated during your studies and advice on how to continue your learning effectively online.

What are the benefits of studying now?

With so much uncertainty, are you wondering whether now is the right time to start a new course? You may be working reduced hours, looking after your children who are home from school or putting your job search on hold for the time being. But discover three reasons why there is still so much benefit from starting, or continuing your studies, even now:

  • Use your spare time wisely – Do you find yourself with some extra time on your hands? Now could be the perfect opportunity to focus on personal development and upskilling. If you don’t feel like you can commit to a long-term course, Open Colleges offer a series of short courses that may be more suitable to you.
  • Focus on the future – It’s understandable to feel negative about the current circumstances. But, by starting a course, you can begin to think more positively about the future. Even if you’ve put your job hunt on hold, for now, you can still focus on building your skillset in crucial areas. Then, when the recruitment industry picks up pace again, you can have some fantastic new skills to show off on your CV.
  • Thrive in your current role – Starting a course will help you develop your skills and bolster your career in this time of economic uncertainty. Your new skills will also provide benefits to your employer, supporting them during a time when they’re strained. It could even lead to career progression or salary increases for you in the future.

How can you increase your concentration when learning?

We would typically recommend finding a quiet place to study so you can concentrate and get the most out of your course. But while you’re stuck at home, possibly with children running around and other family members working, it can understandably be challenging. To help, here are some of our top tips to increase your concentration when learning during these uncertain times:

  • Create a timetable – Routine is essential. Set precise study times so you’re clear on when you should be learning and when you should relax. Following strict times will also help your family know when to give you the space you need to focus.
  • Create a dedicated space – Study in an area of the house that is quiet and conducive to studying. It might not always be easy, but it’s essential to avoid as many distractions as possible so you can remain focused.
  • Reward yourself – Give yourself a treat after you finish a task. Rewarding yourself will help to keep you positive, motivated, and focused.
  • Switch off notifications – Put your phone on silent and turn off any notifications. You should then be able to focus solely on your studies without getting distracted by emails and social media updates.
  • Give yourself a break – Don’t forget to take a break during your studies and if you can, get some fresh air or exercise. You should then feel more focused when you return to your studies.

What courses can you study?

At Open Colleges, online learning is what we do best. With our courses, you can continue your studies, even during these unprecedented times.

We understand that you want to have all your learning materials at your fingertips. You also want to be able to access help when you need it and get support from people that are having the same experiences as you. With our OpenSpace platform, you can enjoy all this and more.

We offer a wide selection of courses for you to choose from. Whether you want to work in the healthcare industry, study a business-related course, try your hand at a trade, get involved in childhood education, ignite your creativity in a design-based role or start your career in technology, we’re sure you’ll find something to suit you.


Elizabeth Harmon

Elizabethis an experienced Freelance Social Media Consultant based in the south of England. She works with a growing number of clients all around the world, showing businesses how to use social media more effectively and helping them to get the maximum benefit from it.

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