COVID-19 Student Reflection: Is Supporting Others, Supporting Yourself?
This paper outlines the experience and personal development of two final year BSc Psychology students during the COVID-19 pandemic, working alongside the BSc Psychology course as Psychology Peer Advisors. The scheme was set up to offer peer support to psychology students, both academically and emotionally. As Peer Advisers, the scheme allowed many transferable skills to be strengthened such adaptability, communication, and resilience. The pandemic acted as a catalyst as these skills had to be acquired quickly and used constantly; this opened further opportunities for future career prospects in both policing and clinical routes. The COVID-19 pandemic placed an immense strain upon both students and staff, something witnessed first-hand by Peer Advisors, whether it be the unexpected transition into working virtually or the external stress of a pandemic creating a lack of focus on studies and the daunting reality this may affect the ability to meet deadlines. The Peer Advisers had to adapt to the challenges we faced whilst advising and supporting our peers, which was challenging at times as we were still figuring out how to approach this situation ourselves. Nonetheless, being a part of a community within the Peer Advisor scheme during a year when the university felt distant helped us grow academically, personally and feel connected. This paper aims to provide comprehensive insights from students during an unpredictable final year of university, who attempted to utilise supporting their peers to their advantage in meeting their own goals, in university and beyond.
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