Yep, we’re beating a dead horse.
I know everyone has “COVID-19 info” coming out their yin-yang right now. Economically, politically, socially, it’s all anyone talks about. Meme pages are filled with toilet paper jokes, food bloggers are talking about how to stock your pantry and every “location tag” on Instagram says “quarantine”. But in light of all this, we all need to keep moving forward. The world will keep moving and you can’t sit around waiting for the day we all get to resume normal activity to pick your life back up. If I’m being honest, knowing the toll this is taking on the world (even just financially) it’s going to be a while until the world is 100% normal again.
So, in hopes of moving forward and not staying stagnant, let’s talk about school.
Trust me I am the last person who wants to talk about school right now. All I want to do is nap and watch Netflix and drink a glass of white wine while I blast music in my kitchen. But I’ve made it nearly 4 years at UBC and I’m not going to let this virus derail my degree. I’m better than that.
But with the lack of structure and frankly no idea what the future is about to look like, it’s hard to stay motivated. I woke up at 10:30am today, ate breakfast and went back to bed. I’m not the poster child for good study habits right now. But I’m setting a plan in place to try to get things back on track and I’m sharing it with you in hopes of getting 1 person on board.
1) Study when you’re supposed to be in class:
A lot of lectures are now pre-recorded videos or video calls so make sure you’re still treating class time like it’s class time. Whether that’s taking notes on slide decks or listening to videos or checking in with professors, keep “going” to school. It’s going to be easy to get behind right now, so staying on top of lectures will make sure you’re not cramming when finals come.
Also, if you set aside regular-school time, then you’re going to add some structure back into your day. It will keep some normalcy. If you want, set up Skype or Facetime with a group of your friends and go through the lectures together so you don’t feel so isolated.
2) Maintain a regular sleep schedule:
It’s really easy to start staying up until 3 am and waking up at noon, but a lot of your final exams are still going to take place at their scheduled times. If you have an online exam at 8:30am, you don’t want to get stuck taking it in your “middle of the night”. And if you spend the next three or so weeks pushing your sleep schedule, when finals roll around, you’re going to have a lot of difficulty righting everything. Plus, eventually the world will return to normal, and it’s not totally sufficient to be a nocturnal human. I know it’s tempting but try to sleep at normal times.
3) Take steps, not leaps:
All of my profs uploaded all of their content for the rest of the year at once, and I almost shat myself. My first thought was “How the fuck am I supposed to learn this all on my own?”. But the thing is, it doesn’t really matter how I do it, I have to do it. So I downloaded all the lecture slides, videos and notes into one file called “Quarantine Files” and as I work my way through them, I delete them. Yes, I will likely have to redownload when I start studying for finals, but I’m treating it like a to-do list. Everyday I’m trying to cross 2-3 slide decks off my list, and honestly, it’s feeling more manageable.
This also means just making a genuine to-do list. Write it down on your phone, on a piece of paper, on your arm. My personal favourite is on sticky notes, because you can rip them down and crumple them up, which is super satisfying.
4) Face reality:
This is it people. This is how I’m going to spend the end of my university degree. I haven’t cried yet, but I’m damn sure I will. And yes, my last post was angry, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that this is the way life is. It’s not fair, it’s not always fun, and in order to protect other people and myself this is way things are going to go.
I’m finally doing well in school and I’m not letting this change of pace affect that. I have 5.5 weeks left in my undergrad and I’m finishing it. I know that UBC is not going to hold my hand to the end of this (because they’ve never held anyone’s hand before), so I better make sure I have my own ass covered.
So that’s all I have for you, it’s no stroke of genius but it’s something:
I’m sure most of you have figured this out on your own. You’re pretty smart. But I also know someone out there is drinking vodka on a Sunday morning like it’s a Friday night, with stacks of toilet paper around them, talking to themselves like it’s the end of the world. And to that person all I have to say is get your shit together.
From me, with love, to you,