After almost three years of Covid-19 pandemic, students return to classrooms in person. What was accomplished during the pandemic in online learning dynamics should not be at odds with what can now be done in physical spaces. In this sense, digital tools can continue to be helpful in face-to-face environments, and there is no need to divide their usage between face-to-face and non-face-to-face modes.
On the other hand, when it comes to soft skills, these are the personal qualities that enable us to communicate well with other people. During the pandemic, we were losing the human touch, and it has become extremely difficult to develop soft skills especially among students. Although now, more than ever, the need and importance of soft skills are at their peak.
Student life is the time of life where they develop most of their personality. Soft skills can be an integral part of it and they have ample opportunities to develop them when they are a student. The skills make them stand out as it develops and enhances their personality in a way that it’s appealing. Also, in today’s world, there is so much stress in students’ lives, soft skills will help them deal with it as well. Below are some of the soft skills that a student must have to survive in this post-pandemic world.
- Communication skills
Communication in these days is beyond face-to-face interaction. Interacting during the pandemic was quite challenging for the students as they were facing more restrictions and limitations to speak promptly and comfortably during their virtual learning compared to when they are learning in a physical classroom. Hence, their communication skills were likely to be less applied and enhanced during the pandemic. Due to this situation, students should redeem the opportunities that they have missed during the lockdown and start pushing and motivating themselves to augment their communication skills in various ways and platforms. To convey their ideas and thoughts, they need a good communication and social skillset, and it is advisable to develop it. Furthermore, it is well-understood that this skill will be highly applied in the workplace. After all, students are future employees.
As we move past the pandemic, technology is still integrated and giving great influence in our face-to-face classroom now. Students can be seen using various types of devices in class including tablet and iPad. Some classrooms are also equipped with Technology Interactive TV sets and other facilities which enable the teaching and learning process to be more interactive and convenient. As a younger generation, students should take the advantage to enhance their software and computer skills also, learn or at least familiarise themselves with as many relevant and applicable technologies as possible. In the post-pandemic world, many employers are looking for employees who are up-to-date with the technology, in fact, a big number of companies are looking for employees who are able to elevate the company’s profits by incorporating various technologies and online platforms more than ever to advertise and attract more potential customers.
As a student, adaptability is one of the soft skills that enables them to deal with changes in the learning environment and in their future workplace. Students should be open-minded in the sense that they are able to be open to any kind of options when solving problems. Furthermore, being able to work well under pressure and knows how to prioritise their work are also vital in producing graduates with high quality and value. Students always complaining pertaining to the hardships and stress that they are facing during their studies which is actually allowing them to demonstrate their adaptability skills in handling and solving their learning challenges. Excellent students will be able to acquire new knowledge and skills despite of the changes in the environment and those who quickly adapt to the changes will survive and thrive.
In the long run, the success of a student is not only depending on the soft skills above or other skills that they already have and are developing, but also their willingness to recover and bounce back from the hardships and challenges that they faced in learning during the pandemic. It is never too late for students to start taking ownership of their learning and building strength to develop strategies for a better learning experience and reflection.
Nurzarina Abdul Samad
Centre for Language Studies
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)