FROM LEMONS TO LEMONADE: STUDENTS’ RESILIENCE WHEN MANAGING CHALLENGE

Judit Kibedi, Louise Ainscough, Kay Colthorpe

Abstract


BACKGROUND

To succeed at university and be prepared for today’s challenging workplace, students need to develop strong resilience. Students face a number of academic, social and life challenges throughout their studies (Brewer et al, 2019; Ainscough et al, 2018). The disruptions from COVID-19 in Semester 1 of 2020 have undoubtedly exacerbated these challenges, or presented entirely novel ones to manage. This study describes how students demonstrated resilience when responding to such challenges.

METHODS

Biomedical science students (n=200) in their 2nd year of study, were asked how they coped with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and what advice they would give themselves for dealing with novel challenges in future.

RESULTS & DISCUSSION

Almost half the students struggled with motivation and the loss of on-campus experiential learning (36%), with a third then advising how they would better manage study in future. Many students also emphasised the importance of balancing health with study (21%), whilst other indicators of resilience (adaptability, positive mindset, seeing the “Big Picture”) were identified by 38% of students. While some students focused mainly on academic aspects, others had a broader perspective on managing challenges in the context of life and well-being. Students with the most rounded approach to challenges, might thus be those who have greatest resilience.

REFERENCES

Ainscough, L, Stewart, E, Colthorpe, K & Zimbardi, K. (2018) Learning hindrances and self-regulated learning strategies reported by undergraduate students: identifying characteristics of resilient students, Studies in Higher Education, 43(12); 2194-2209.
Brewer, ML, van Kessel, G, Sanderson, B, Naumann, F, Murray, L, Reubenson, A & Carter, A. (2019) Resilience in higher education students: a scoping review, Higher Education Research & Development, 38(6): 1105-1120.

Keywords


resilience, challenge, strategies

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