Studying from home? Here’s how a real-life uni student structures her day

PhD student Janice Vaz, knows how to dress for a Zoom call.

We take a look at how PhD student Janice Vaz tackles a day of eLearning.

Janice Vaz is a wildlife biologist, who is currently doing a PhD in Animal Science at Western Sydney University. Since the new social distancing laws brought on by the coronavirus pandemic meant that she could no longer attend class in person, she’s set up her own mini study space in her Richmond-based share house where she lives with her two house mates and partner.

“I converted our entire dining table into a home study,” she says. “I’m only interacting with my supervisor from there these days.”

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The big-time animal-lover keeps in touch with all things Uni through Zoom, WhatsApp and Messenger, but frustratingly spends a lot less time doing the more practical aspects of her research – like field work – due to the current restrictions.

“I am restricted to working on the computer spending most of my hours either reading or writing,” she says. “I haven’t been able to visit the zoo and conduct fieldwork or any lab-work at the university.”

Without regular zoo trips, animal-lover Janice makes sure she gets her nature fix from home.

Studying 9 to whenever

In an attempt to inspire other eLearners new to working remotely, we asked Janice to walk us through an average study-from-home day. Spoiler: Facebook breaks totally happen.

7:30am Wake up and prepare breakfast from home

9:00am Check and respond to any new emails and social media updates

10:00am Get dressed for the day. Hop on a Zoom meeting with supervisor

11:00am Jump between Uni work and paid work [Janice has a casual library job which she’s able to do remotely]

1:00pm Eat lunch and bird watch through a window

2:00pm Write, read and more library work

5:00pm Call it a day and take time out to do something fun (eg. online ukulele classes, online singing lessons or painting)

7:00pm Dinner, scroll through socials, video chat friends in India

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Remote study perks

Although Janice is frustrated that she can’t hit up the zoo for research as much as BC (read: before coronavirus), she makes sure she gets her nature fix by gardening regularly and bird-watching through her window.

Oh, and there’s definitely at least one major win with sitting at a desk most of the day.

“You’ll always find my top-half well-dressed but I sneak in shorts or track suits on the bottom,” she laughs.

Now that is living your best eLearning life.

Check out more about what Janice does day-to-day here

Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.



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