“I’m struggling to see success!” Finding meaning in your Covid-19 university experience

With the technology challenges, distance learning and not getting to meet your new university friends, you might be reflecting on the Autumn term with mixed feelings. But can you also see your many successes? Seeing success during hard times is a skill you can learn, both to help your studies and career journey.

The word "success" written on the sand
Photo by Pixabay

Reflecting on your autumn term

There’s one thing that we know will unite all students at King’s this autumn term: the feeling of uncertainty. Questions like ‘how do I know I am doing well?’, ‘how do I know I am gaining any new knowledge and skills?’ or ‘since this year was so different, does it mean it is less valuable?’ might be on your mind at the moment. While reflecting on your work and university journey is a valuable thing to do, are you also giving enough credit to your successes?


Seeing success in yourself

Whether you just started your journey at King’s, or whether you’re long into your university career, the challenges we have each gone through the last several months are also sources of value and development. In other words, the knowledge, attributes, skills and experiences you have gained in your exceptional autumn term have already developed your employability, whether you’ve realised it or not.

Let’s talk about seeing success. We know that seeing success in your career journey is all about the mindset – reframing your perspective so that you stop and look around at your progress. Now, you might say ‘I don’t like to toot my own horn’, but have you considered the benefits of seeing your success? The skill of seeing your successful moments and describing your past experiences are the foundations of your career skills. Interviews for jobs rely on your self-awareness and reflective skills to sell yourself to an employer. And what about those conversations with your personal tutor, lecturer or future boss? Giving yourself credit where it’s due is not only good for your motivation or wellbeing, but it can actually be good for your career…


Two paths in a wood, heading in different directions
Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

Ways to realise your success

If you are feeling lack of motivation, not feeling connected to your work or your student community, or if you are just generally reflecting on the value of your time at University right now, then this part is for you.

These reminders are written in first person – you can even read them out loud as affirmations. They are designed to remind you of the value of your university experience and help you feel more purposeful.


Success is… acquiring knowledge

“Throughout this Autumn term, I have gained specialist knowledge as part of my degree through virtual lectures, labs, seminars and independent reading.  This has raised my awareness of my own degree subject and led me to discover new interests and aptitudes.

I have also gained knowledge on myself; the way I prefer to learn and the way that I may struggle to learn. This knowledge is valuable and can help me prepare for the Spring semester as well as inform me in the future about how I like to work and study. “


Success is… developing my attributes

“The past few months have made me realise my qualities, behaviours and values. I now recognise that I can take priority of my wellbeing when needed, while maintaining a positive can-do attitude about my work. While sometimes I struggle to keep motivated, challenges of the Autumn term have shown that I can stay resilient and keep the important things in perspective. All of the attributes I have discovered about myself are valuable, both to my personal and professional life.”


Success is… my new skills

“I have gained an incredible amount of skills from time management to managing procrastination and maintaining independent learning. I have learned how to use various digital platforms and learned ‘digital etiquette’ through online work and study. I have also gained impressive virtual networking skills simply by having to communicate online with my lecturers, peers and the King’s community – even as it has often meant getting out of my comfort zone. While these skills are not often obvious at first, they will be valuable wherever I go next, and a clear sign of how I have turned challenges to success.”


Success is… my experiences

“I know that every kind of experience I have at King’s can be valuable in some way. I don’t need to have done ‘grand things’ in order to feel satisfied with my academic term. The small things in life can also offer satisfaction and unexpected value. Success is about finding value in whatever the experiences I may have taken part in, and reflecting on why I have found these experiences valuable to me – maybe there is a common thread or theme that I can learn from. I notice and take satisfaction in small things today, so that they can become bigger things tomorrow.”


The next steps

If you’d like to continue your learning and realise how your values, interests and passions hold value, we recommend you to head out to our KEATS and discover the “Who am I?” online course. This course is designed for all students (and does not require you to have any career plans yet). It aims to give you confidence and self-awareness in realising how your various interests and activities at King’s can help you build lifelong success.