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Helping Students to Find Online/Offline Balance

With digital technology at the forefront of our daily lives, it’s easy to see why students spend so much of their time online. From writing essays to reading articles, many activities which used to be paper-based have now become entirely digital. That shift to digital has brought a whole range of anxieties and challenges for students, not least of which is switching off their devices.

With digital technology at the forefront of our daily lives, it’s easy to see why students spend so much of their time online. From writing essays to reading articles, many activities which used to be paper-based have now become entirely digital. That shift to digital has brought a whole range of anxieties and challenges for students, not least of which is switching off their devices.

Dangers of 24/7 Online Access

University environments don’t always encourage a healthy work-life balance for our students. With 24/7 access to library buildings, study spaces and online resources, there’s often no separation for students between ‘work’ and ‘life’. Throw in part-time jobs, family commitments, and a whole host of other responsibilities, and it’s no wonder that students sometimes feel overwhelmed.

Encouraging Time Offline

In this video, David Brown, one of the University of York’s Academic Liaison Librarians, explains some of the ways in which the Library at York has supported student wellbeing through different activities and events. In this way, we’ve helped students to take some valuable time away from their screens, in the hope that when they do return to their work they’ll be relaxed and refreshed.

Through these ‘Inspiring Minds’ initiatives, we’ve sought to improve our students’ wellbeing, helping them to feel re-energised and inspired about their studies while also having a bit of fun along the way!

Offline Activities

We have focused on how we can adopt strategies to improve our relationship with technology, how we can improve our home-working environment and how we can avoid adding to others’ information overload. Now let’s take the opportunity to consider some of the offline activities David mentioned in the video. As part of your considerations of online/offline balance are there any non-digital activities you are going to explore to help you ‘switch off’ and relax?

Do you plan on taking up a new hobby? Are you going to bring down the Lego from the loft? Are you interested in exploring your creative side? Or do you want to relax with a new book?

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