BCM212 has been such a useful and inciteful subject, it was really one of the most in depth in many areas that I’ve taken on. This subject really helped me test out my skills in the real world, it pushed me to my limits at times yet really captivated my learning and helped me excel in other areas of my degree. From the off, when choosing my topic for this subject, I was enthralled, I chose a topic that really related to my own experience and felt confident and comfortable moving forward with it. “The delaying of studies due to COVID” was a topic anyone studying could be a part of and relate to. At the beginning of 2020, I really debated either moving to part time study or deferring university all together due to COVID. I ended up moving to part time study for a semester to adjust into online learning. Using my own experience as a basis, it really helped me excel in formulating questions for my primary research and using key terms to find appropriate secondary research. Yet, although there were many positives, having a topic that was personal made researching and the ethical process slightly difficult. When formulating said questions, I had to remain unbiased and completely neutral. As my experience was very one sided, it was hard to differentiate what I wanted to convey, especially when I wanted to be informed about both sides of the spectrum. It became hard to separate myself from the topic, yet I overcame this and formulated neutral informative questions. Alongside the challenges of bias and creating constructive research, time management and organisation were huge hurdles I have to overcome and adjust to in this subject. Time management and organisation have always been two of my biggest weaknesses, in this subject they really had to become my strengths. I have to admit – I struggled! Keeping track weekly of what I needed to do was challenging and meeting deadlines was also quite stressful and hard. Despite that challenges they presented however, it was an amazing learning curve, I really learnt how to organise my work appropriately and meet necessary deadlines. BCM212 pushed and trained me, I learnt many new skills and found the subject so inciteful. This subject will really help me move onto other subjects and a work environment in the near future with a lot more confidence.
After multiple discussions, polls on twitter and research, I have decided to base my research on “the delaying of studies at university due to COVID, how many and why?”. I was attracted to this topic from reading an article by The Wall Street Journal about why you should or shouldn’t defer university until the end of the pandemic. I read this journal for personal advice yet the case study brought to light the many factors on why people are delaying their studies and its consequences/rewards. The article quoted that “Over 20% of Harvard university students decided to defer their studies in 2020” this quote itself intrigued me to continue an investigation into the reasons behind the delaying of studies due to COVID. The topic itself surrounds personal experience, I, myself, delayed my studies to part time, wanting the in-person experience over online experience. COVID is a relevant and timely topic to investigate due to its personal and global impact of recent years. Every individual has been impacted by COVID in some shape or form. Students, in particular, have been enormously impacted by COVID, in both their personal life and academic. In the scholarly article by Pradeep Sahu named “Closure of universities due to COVID19”, He investigates the full closure of universities putting billions of students across the globe in strife. This academic journal will aid me in my future studies on this topic, giving me coherent information to follow off.
Due to my small audience on twitter and the large usage of the BCM212 hashtag, it has been slightly difficult to both engage and gather results. Both of my polls only gathered 12 votes each. That’s a combined 24 votes, predicting that each poll gathered the same audience. I hope to build my audience before investigating further into individuals and surveying the BCM212 audience. In my first poll I allowed my audience to decide what topic they were interested out of two options. The first being “the delaying of studies at university due to COVID, how many and why?” and the second being “What is the adaptability and accessibility of online university like for international students?”. The poll received a 50/50 result out of 12 people, 6 people choosing each topic. Due to this split I had to result to discussion with a fellow student over which topic is more adaptable, the proposed topic ultimately being chosen.
In my brief research so far, I’ve discovered the reasoning behind delaying of studies for university students in general is mostly due to mental health. In the academic journal called “effects of COVID19 on college students’ mental health” a survey was conducted on over 200 students based on their mental health. The journal stated “Out of 195 participants, 138 (71%) indicated that their stress and anxiety had increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic” it then continuing to explain that the pandemic only continued to deteriorate students’ mental health. Linking to my focus topic, mental health is a major subtopic to investigate. The mental health of students could be a colossal factor of the reasoning behind delaying studies at university due to the pandemic. Another factor to take into consideration is the impact on international students and their studies. According to a study conducted by Mike Churney, international students’ enrolment was down by over 14% in Australia last November. He quoted “Although students can study remotely online, international-student enrolments were already down 14% as of November” the main reasoning being the delaying of studies and the changing of universities to local.
With this gathered knowledge, I am confident with my focus study. My research topic is coherent, timely and highly appropriate. I am excited to embark into my research and discover results that may surprise me or justify my previous instincts.
Dill, K., 2021. The Challenges—and Rewards—of Deferring College During Covid. [online] WSJ. Available at: <https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-challengesand-rewardsof-deferring-college-during-covid-11607288404> (Accessed 15 March 2021).
Sahu, P., 2020. Closure of Universities Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Impact on Education and Mental Health of Students and Academic Staff. Cureus,. (Accessed 15 March 2021).
Son, C., Hegde, S., Smith, A., Wang, X. and Sasangohar, F., 2020. Effects of COVID-19 on College Students’ Mental Health in the United States: Interview Survey Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(9), p.e21279. (Accessed 16 March 2021).
Cherney, M., 2021. Covid-19 Leaves Colleges Short on International Students—and Money. [online] WSJ. Available at: <https://www.wsj.com/articles/covid-19-leaves-colleges-short-on-international-studentsand-money-11612434603> (Accessed 16 March 2021)
In studying BCM212, I had originally narrowed down my pitch to a choice between “the delaying of studies due to covid (how many and why)” and “what is the adaptability and accessibility like for international students due to covid?”. To help me narrow down which topic I should choose, I created a twitter poll to allow my fellow BCM212 cohort to help me make a decision. Unfortunately, it was a 50/50 split, with 12 votes, 6 people chose each topic.
I therefore had to make an executive decision and chose the topic “The delaying of studies due to covid (how many and why?)”. This chosen topic is highly relevant in most student’s lives currently. Due to covid. University has moved online yet many students have not been able to advance in their studies due to this. Some students have preferred to move to part time studies or even delaying their studies fully until university resumes back to normal and in person. I predict that my sample space may be fairly low yet I hope many students can relate to the suggested topic. I, myself, moved to part time studies due to covid in semester one last year as I originally believed I would not be able to excel online. I’m hoping many students have had a similar situation to my own and am interested to hear why they chose to delay their own studies.
My name is Julia Johnson, I’m a third year student at UOW studying communications, majoring in digital media. I’m originally from England, moving to Australia when I was 7. I’ve lived in Australia for nearly 14 years now but still occasionally miss England, more now than ever due to covid. Entering my third year, I wanted to really push myself this year as I am (barely) getting the hang of being a part of online studies. I
Last year I found myself being barely motivated due to Covid and slightly delaying my studies in result. I moved to part time studies and exceled in the fewer subjects I had. Although I found this process a lot easier, I now have to play catchup moving back to full time studies. I’m definitely excited to be on campus again, even if it’s just for one subject and I’m even more excited to begin my third year at university. Every year at university brings new opportunities and challenges and I am keen to delve into whatever comes my way.