This semester has been quite the mental adventure. At times it was mentally exhausting but on the other hand it was also mentally stimulating. There were instances where I questioned my capabilities and instances where I felt like I had it all together. There were days where I was ready to be productive and buckle down on my work and there were days where it took everything out of me to even power up my computer. Nevertheless, virtual college or “Zoom-University” as some have called it, has had its high points and its low points.
Before virtual learning began, I didn’t have many expectations. However, I, for some reason, did not anticipate it being hard at all. I fooled myself into thinking that I would be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 8am for classes, ready to learn. While it was this way for the first month, it surely didn’t last. It became harder and harder to get out of bed and sit through a day full of Zoom calls. To clarify, the actual work wasn’t hard. It was trying to find the will to actually do the work that was troubling me. This led to an extreme feeling of procrastination that I have never felt before. As much as I wanted to blame it all on my teachers for giving too much work, that just wasn’t the case. I was waiting too long it do assignments and overwhelming myself trying to make deadlines. Reflecting back on the semester more, I gathered that I would’ve had more motivation to get things done faster if I were physically in a classroom environment.
Although morale was seemingly low this semester, it wasn’t all bad. I came to many realizations and picked a up few useful techniques along the way. One thing this time has taught me was how to be more organized. On weeks when I decided to get my act together, I would plan my days out in my planner so that I wasn’t doing too much in one day, but I was still getting things done in a timely manner. Working from home has forced me to be responsible with my work and to take accountability for myself and everything I do. Instead of taking that nap every day in between your classes, choose a day where you get some work done in that time instead. There really are no excuses for your work to not be completed.
That being said, the most important thing that I learned through this experience is to know my limits and prioritize my mental health. You don’t have to be doing work 24/7. TAKE A BREAK!! Virtual learning is so mentally taxing, so you need time to clear your mind. You can’t expect to succeed at it with a clouded mental. Within your schedule, carve out some time to do anything besides homework. You could go for a walk, take a nap, workout, eat, do some yoga, and indulge into some self-care. Don’t lose yourself in the noise of around the clock pandemic updates and calculous. You owe it to yourself after all the hard work you have been putting in.
All this goes to say, that there is no instruction manual on how to be a college student in the midst of a global pandemic. In addition to the pandemic, there are a series of political and systemic issues suffocating us. Never mind the semester being hard, the whole entire year was hard. I think it’s fair to say that we were all flying by seat of our pants given the current climate we are in. But somehow, we did it. All we can do now is hope for a somewhat easier spring semester for those who will be remaining virtual and keep on pushing. If you ever feel like giving up, just remember that you were strong enough to persevere through the most difficult semester ever. There is nothing that you can’t do.