After more than two and a half years of being in this global pandemic, it is certainly obvious that most people are impacted significantly by the uncertainly, isolation, and distress of our current situation. Even where some students are enjoying the lifting of some restrictions, lots of students are feeling lonely and isolated from their family and/or friends, which has a negative impact on their studies. Perhaps you are experiencing that too.

Even with some classes moving to “in person” delivery, lots of classes are still online. Some students have found that they have submitted incorrect files for assessments, while others can’t learn the information as well as they did in person. There are several students who have not even been on the Uni campus and are missing out on the social aspect of being a student.

There are a few online resources available through the Uni and in the broader community that you might find helpful. The Library has Peer Learning Advisors (https://www.library.sydney.edu.au/help/pla.html) who run some social activities, as well as being able to help with study skills. The USU have over 200 clubs and societies that are holding different types of online social events, in a wide range of interests. Headspace (https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace) have an online forum, especially for students, to talk about the challenges they are experiencing, and some of the things they are doing to help themselves. The Uni has an app which is a peer support and mental wellbeing resource (https://www.sydney.edu.au/students/talkcampus.html). It may also benefit you to speak to a counsellor either at the Uni (https://www.sydney.edu.au/students/counselling-and-mental-health-support.html) or in the community (https://headspace.org.au) to develop strategies to deal with isolation.

While it is completely understandable that you might be feeling distressed, the Uni still considers academic honesty very seriously. You need to reference every source that you use to write an essay. You need to complete your own work when writing code, that is, not look at another student’s assignment, and not get help for that assignment from a coach or tutoring company. When you are doing an online exam, you should not access unauthorised materials (e.g., notes, canvas, another computer, etc) and you should not be wearing headphones. Any academic honesty breach may lead to a fail grade for that assessment or even a suspension from University. Be careful when submitting any files for an exam, to ensure that you are attaching the correct file.

If you need a few extra days for an assessment, you might be able to apply for a simple extension of 5 calendar days through the Special Consideration portal. Check the portal to see if that particular assessment is eligible for a simple extension. You need to apply on or before the due date, and provide a Student Declaration explaining why you want the extension. If you are still unable to complete your assessment because of illness, injury, or misadventure, you should apply for Special Consideration. You have three working days to submit your application and where possible you will need to provide a supporting document from a doctor or counsellor dated ON or BEFORE the day the assessment is due.

If you feel so desperate that you think you should breach academic honesty standards for an assessment, please talk to an SRC caseworker about what your options are. We provide a confidential service that is independent of the University.