Planning for the future during change and uncertainty
Even during challenging periods of change, successfully planning for your future and completing your studies is still very achievable. No matter what is going on in the world, you can always take positive steps towards a bright future.
We spoke to our ACU counselling team for some advice on staying motivated and positive during uncertain times.
During these confusing times, it can feel like the rug has been pulled out from under all of us – it’s natural to feel a little shaken up right now. But here’s your new focus: while we can’t control everything, we can control some things.
“Apart from hand hygiene and social distancing, we have limited capacity to change what is happening around us.
So, spend your energy setting up a routine at home,” advises the counselling team. “Maintain your focus on short-term study goals, and increase self-care activities such as exercise and getting enough sleep.”
Give yourself a break
Keep calm and carry on is a nice thought, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. And the reality is, feelings of anxiety and stress are normal in times like these. The key is not to ignore those feelings, but to try not to dwell on them either.
“It makes total sense that you may be feeling on edge at the moment,” said the counselling team. “Uncertainty can be really unsettling. Reach out to friends regularly and appreciate the small stuff, like cooking a nice meal or learning a new skill – think baking, gardening, arts and crafts or a language. Most importantly, be kind to yourself.”
It makes sense that we’re all feeling disconnected from one another right now, but technology has stepped up in a whole new way. Just because you can’t meet up with friends at a cafe or go to a music gig in-person, doesn’t mean you can’t have meaningful conversations and experiences.
For social connection, try Zoom, House Party and FaceTime. To get moving, YouTube is your go-to with its millions of free workout routines. If stress is getting to you, meditation apps can help. Try Smiling Mind, Headspace, Insight Timer or Balance.
If you’re missing music and culture, the Sydney Opera House is live streaming past events for free and the Isol-Aid Festival allows you to see live acts from across the globe.
Flexibility is key right now. Perhaps you’re in Year 12 and suddenly your final year of high school is looking a little different to how you imagined. Or maybe you’re at uni and miss hanging out with friends on campus and working together in class. Things aren’t ideal at the moment, but we can adapt to our new situations while remembering that this is all temporary.
“Try to concentrate on the current semester for now and set goals as you would normally. You may need to respond more flexibly to your studies and possibly adjust your long-term plans. Talk with your teachers or tutors and lecturers if you have specific concerns related to your studies. Remember, we are all in this together,” said the counselling team.
Help is still on hand
Whether you’re in Year 12 and had planned on joining us next year, or you’re a current student who is suddenly studying from home full-time, know that ACU are here to help you, wherever you are.
If you were planning on starting uni next year and you’re in research mode to choose a course and uni, keep going. The current challenges are only temporary – and you still have a bright and exciting future ahead of you.
We offer virtual campus tours and videos, and have plenty of information to help you decide which degree is you and what a day in the life of a uni student really looks like. Plus, we have lots of online events coming up on Facebook Live and Skype, and our AskACU team is ready and waiting to point you in the right direction.
If you’re a current student, same rules apply – the counselling team assures us they’re available to help if you’re having a tough time and they’re free to chat over the phone or on Skype. Classes are still going ahead and tech support is available to make sure you’re still getting through all of your materials.
Remember the world may have paused, but your future hasn’t.
Ready to start planning your future? Explore our courses to get started.