This year’s winter vacation has been longer than usual due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak and as a result, returning to campus has been put on hold. During their extended time at home, students have decided to take matters into their own hands. Some have decided to carry out their own study plans as well as enjoying more time with their families in addition to other activities.


Motivation to learn online

Student Ma, Applied Psychology Programme, Year 1

"When the news of the epidemic arrived, I tried to contribute to the fight against it through donations, but I was still anxious and felt I needed to help more. After seeing information about ‘stress response’, I realised that my emotions were affected, I began to reduce watching the news about the epidemic, and instead, I focused more on exercise and study, and slowly but surely I turned my sense of weakness into a motivation to enrich myself.

"Psychology has been my hobby. With MOOC (Online learning platform), I can now know myself from a new perspective. This holiday has become full and meaningful.”


Preparing for IELTS

Student Wang, International Journalism Programme, Year 2

"Due to the epidemic, the domestic IELTS test time has been adjusted accordingly, so now the IELTS training course has now become an online course, but this has not affected my learning mentality in the slightest.

"I insist on writing an essay every day, as well as practising my listening, reading and speaking by using the Cambridge series materials. Once I have finished, I send it to my teacher to check, and I repeat this process on a daily basis as I believe that practice makes perfect.

"I sometimes feel bored, but the teacher's guidance and the importance of this exam provide me with the motivation to persist. After studying, I usually watch American TV dramas or sports to change my mood. I believe that maintaining an efficient learning rhythm will definitely achieve good results.”

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Complete reading goals

Student Jiang, Public Relations and Advertising Programme, Year 2

"Today is the thirtieth day that I miss the college’s Learning Resource Centre (LRC). I miss the tranquillity of the LRC at nine o’clock in the morning as the warm comfortable sun shines through to lighten up the place. I miss how I can take a break at four o’clock in the afternoon and then later struggle between willpower and homework at nine o’clock at night.

"Now I can only read on WeRead (a reading app which can be accessed by WeChat), but I have achieved my reading goals for the previous year in just a month.”

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Some recommended books by Jiang


Group chat to encourage ourselves

Student Zhang, Computer Science and Technology Programme, Year 4

"In order not to waste every day of the holiday, I formed a group with my classmates, were more than ten people in that group to encourage each other. We share books, movies or recommend music to each other every day. I also set a goal for myself, which for example could be watching a film and writing a short review about it on a daily basis. Of the films, I have watched in the past thirty days that impressed me the most was a Hong Kong documentary about SARS.

"I decided to watch this series because of the novel coronavirus epidemic we are experiencing now. The series objectively records the beginning and end of SARS in 2003 and some follow-ups. It is profound and thought-provoking. While we wait for school to return, we have to understand the past to prevent and help stop the spread of the virus, we have to maintain independent thinking during this time.”


Creativity driven

Student Zhang, Public Relations and Advertising Programme, Year 2

"During the winter vacation, I have been mainly creating posters and focusing on product designs. I also designed a logo for UMC studio as they have recently recorded and released an anti-epidemic public welfare song called ‘Journey Train’.

"Because of the outbreak that this winter vacation is very long, my creation and inspiration haven’t once stopped. I have been practising writing often and now I have plans to design a series of posters themed around the epidemic.

"Whether or not there are classes in the morning, I basically get up at 8 o'clock every day, followed by drinking a cup of coffee and then eating breakfast. Afterwards, I read and then in the evening, I will start my reflection on what I’ve learned on that day. I believe learning things that you are interested in is an effective way to maintain a good attitude.”

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Companionship is the warmest confession

Student Wen, Accounting Programme, Year 2

"Since the outbreak, the close relationship between family members has become even more valuable. My grandmother’s birthday is was on the fourth day of the spring festival this year. In previous years, we would go to a restaurant outside to eat and celebrate; however this year we chose to celebrate at home. We didn't feel sad because we couldn't order the cake. Instead, we chose to make a simple orange cake for her. Although a little humble, it still holds hope: the epidemic will definitely pass, and the real spring will come.”

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Fitness improves our immune system

Student Zhou, Cinema and Television Programme, Year 2

"Now we are limited to going out, I have found myself focussing on exercise. At my family home, we have a table tennis table that is getting plenty of use recently. Every day after dinner, my father and I will play; however, I do spend a lot of time running after the ball. I realised that sports at home are fun.

"During this time, now that we are isolated in our homes, we still need to exercise because it helps improve our immune system.”

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Student Shen, e-Business Management and Information Systems Programme, Year 3

“Since I can’t go out at home, I made a simple basketball frame above my bedroom door. The small basketball net has been glued to the door’s frame. I practice and play regularly by throwing a small ball from a different point of my bedroom. You could say that I am the LeBron James of my family.”

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A foodie's DIY

Student Wu, Public Relations and Advertising Programme, Year 2

“The most stubborn thing during this long stay at home is my stomach. I miss the college’s milk tea, so I gathered materials to make it and found out it is actually pretty simple to make. I have taken advantage of this long winter vacation. I encourage others to do something that you usually don’t have time to do to add value to yourself, as well as spending time with your family. Let’s improve ourselves until we meet on campus again.”

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Reporter: Lauren Richardson
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Covee Wang
(from MPRO)