student group

Those carefree student days before masks and social distancing are over for now. Image: Adobe Stock

Tips for students: Six ways to navigate returning to campus life

The virus remains a big presence and returning to campus can be daunting for students. Here are six tips to help you through the process.

student group

Those carefree student days before masks and social distancing are over for now. Image: Adobe Stock

Selected universities and colleges across South Africa are slowly gearing up to allow students to return to campus. However, going back to campus after months of studying at home can be overwhelming while the pandemic and fears of a third wave continue. 

Here are six tips to help you through the process.


Adhering to COVID safety regulations amid the “new normal” can feel more like an irritation than a necessary protocol, but the measures are in place for your safety. Therefore, wearing a mask, religiously sanitising your hands and maintaining social distancing are essential, especially in environments like universities and other places of learning. 

Many of us, including students, tend to get more comfortable around friends and family. There is also the habit of lowering their masks to speak. This cannot happen in an environment where students, lecturers and staff will gather on a daily basis.


It is important to connect with fellow students and colleagues to keep on top of your studies and for support purposes. Class or course group chats are an efficient way of communicating with your peers.

Do also keep in contact with your friends and family outside of campus, especially if you’re studying away from home. Now more than ever a support structure is vital.


You need to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep will take care of your body physically. You may also want to take vitamins to boost your immune system if you were previously staying at home and are now worried about the potential risk on campus.

Taking a little time out from academics can be a good way to clear your mind and destress. Practising self-care is good for your mental health as a student. Schedule a little “me time” into your day, even if it’s to do something pampering or fun unrelated to your studies.


Many students find the Pomodoro technique a useful way to structure study time.

The Pomodoro technique is a time-management method that focuses on productivity. The technique consists of 25 minutes of distraction-free time and a five minute-break that continues for as many sessions as you can.

The distraction-free time allows you to be productive in a shorter space of time, allowing you to finish what you need to do quicker than you would if you were distracted by your cellphone, for example.

It all helps towards having a clearer head space, allowing you to focus better.


Student life can come with a lot of distractions, whether you are attending classes physically or virtually. You will need to prioritise dedicating time to your studies to stay on top of academic life. 


Your class representatives, tutors and lecturers are all at your disposal to assist when you need help – -remember that! Do not hesitate to contact them to help ensure that you stay on the right track. 

ALSO READ: What will returning to university after lockdown look like?