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04 June 2020

A Student's Guide to the New Normal

If your daily routine now consists of naps, online classes, binge-watching, scrolling through social media… and just more naps, rest assured you’ve got some kindred spirits riding the same bandwagon. The monotony has slowly settled into our everyday patterns and honestly, we don’t blame you if life before the quarantine sounds all too foreign.

In times like this especially, a ‘Quarantine for Dummies’ manual sounds super useful! But unfortunately, nothing like that exists (much to our disappointment) so we’re going to do our best to help fill in the gaps and get you on track for our much-awaited campus reunion!

The New Normal

Let’s start with the current situation.

As you know, we’re under a conditional ‘lockdown’ until the MCO is officially lifted (and hopefully never returns!) This means we’re still maintaining the same social distancing and hygiene measures, but giving leeway to the way we travel, with lesser roadblocks between different areas within a state, and resumption of economic activities.

Keep in mind though that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. So while the world is actively working towards flattening the curve, it’s best to still keep outdoor activities at a minimum and only when necessary!

There isn’t a definitive timeline at present to tell us when our stay-at-home reality will end and when our post-pandemic lives would begin. Which just means it’s going to be more of the same, at least for now. Yet as students, this looming realm of unpredictability does get nerve-wracking.

How To Navigate the Uncertainty

Here’s a little note of positivity, this period of panic is not forever but rather a momentary hiccup in our lives. Look at it this way, you’re one day closer to essentially getting back to your daily routine.

So in the meantime try to adopt a makeshift routine —  one which could serve you well during this period of uncertainty. Take the little things into account. Like fixing sleeping patterns, setting study plans, squeezing in social meetings, and of course, sparing a little me-time for yourself. Because we all need a little isolation to unwind after a loooong day. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt if you actually kept these habits even after the CMCO period.

Also, speaking of me-time, staying on top of things does not make your self-care second priority but rather works hand-in-hand with it.

It’s important to keep track of your well-being on a regular basis. After all, it’s very easy to fall into a slump amidst the chaos and change mental gears real quick. Remember to consciously reflect on how you’re coping and what you’re feeling from time to time. If you feel the blues creeping up on you, try various coping mechanisms like journaling, opening up to a trustworthy someone, listening to some good music, or even catching up on some Zs. Figure out what activity helps best in draining out the negativity. 

And do what you need to do to keep your mind alive and sane. Whip up some yummy Dalgona coffees. Make one (or several - no one's judging) TikToks. Succumb to peer pressure and cut those bangs (badly if you must.) Answer your Animal-Crossing calls. Post those travel #throwbacks on Instagram.

Relish these cliches while you can and, most of all, stay in tune with the world, especially during this time.

The Student Shenanigans

The virtual classroom scene is definitely new and unfamiliar. Some elements are drastically different from real life. From previously seeing your lecturer several rows down the lecture hall, to now seeing them occupying two-thirds of the meeting screen. Or perhaps high-fiving your classmates between tutorials to now starting up conversations with their Zoom profile icons. 

It feels less personal and a tad bit awkward at times with a digital barrier in the way. And we may never ever get used to it, but having ongoing classes is better than not having them at all.

Hear me out.

In some instances around the world, there has been closure of universities and schools with no alternative online options. Which obviously leaves certain students unable to continue with their academic studies due to the unfortunate circumstances. 

So while online classes aren’t perfect and do take time getting used to, there should be an inkling of appreciation practised by us consciously in this regard. 

 

And though we all can’t wait to reunite on campus once again, we need to remember to maintain good hygiene habits, wear a mask, and practise social distancing (We wouldn’t want a second wave to happen!)

Plus, there’s a comfort in knowing that these feelings are universally shared because we’re all in this together (bet you sang that last bit in your head, didn't ya?)

 

We are, after all, a Quaran-TEAM!

...Okay, that was corny but you get the idea.

Breaking the Monotony

Let’s hope you’re not too comfortable at home at this point.

Breaking the monotony doesn’t mean measuring your level of productivity. It’s about switching it up when things fall into a repetitive cycle. If your days begin to sound all too familiar from doing the same activities over and over, then it’s time to add some colour into the routine. 

Try taking walks (with masks on please!) or exercising. Making a bucket list of all the things you want to do post-quarantine. Doing some online shopping (if your wallet can spare it). Taking some free online classes or adopting new hobbies. Cleaning up and cleaning out your closets. Making friend dates over video calls. Putting your cooking skills to the test.

Or if you want some new insights courtesy of Taylor’s, you can always attend some of the free online workshops we advertise over our social media, join the online Speaker’s Corner held almost every Friday, or listen to our podcasts!

Just remember, you have to adopt a flexible mindset, one that can quickly adjust if told to head back over to campus tomorrow. Don’t drown in the uncertainty but try to rise above it with tips and tricks to stay afloat. And don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve come this far, virus pandemic and quarantine aside, so give yourself some credit for persevering through it all.

Finally, stay safe, stay connected, and stay on track.

Karen Grace Prince is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communication (Honours) at Taylor's University. She is also the Director of Events Committee for the Taylor's Model United Nations Club (TLMUN) and Director of Ext. Operations for TLMUN 2020 Conference Secretariat Team.

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Karen Grace Prince
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NEW NORMAL
ONLINE CLASSES
HEALTHY ROUTINE