I Feel Disconnected but I'm Still Here

Going through the motions can get very tiring very quickly. During these difficult times it’s been hard keeping a positive headspace and open mind. This fall semester many students were faced with the decision of returning to their campuses or staying home and continuing with remote learning. I chose to stay home and continue my courses online. Earlier this year, I was hospitalized with a rare autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I felt it was a safer decision for me to live at home this semester so that if anything were to happen to me I would have a support system nearby. Although I believe I made the right decision for myself, I’ve had an ongoing battle in my mind as the FOMO sets in. 

I’m currently a Junior at Pace and have a Major in Communication Studies with a Minor in Fashion Marketing. I have always had a passion for learning and experimenting with fashion. My entire life I have dreamed of leaving my hometown and moving to New York City to pursue my dreams of working in the fashion industry. Last Fall, I had felt like all of my dreams have come true and now I wake up back in my hometown of Santa Rosa Beach, FL five minutes before my Zoom calls and sit there awaiting the end of each session. I have been living in a dreary cycle of waking up, getting what I need done, going to work, then back to sleep and doing it all over again. In between those things I tend to throw in the contemplation of my decision to stay home. Going from having such a sense of freedom and accomplishment to being right back where you started, regardless of circumstances is insanely discouraging. Some ways I have tried to cope with these feelings of failure or incompetence include, but are not limited to;

  1. 1. Reminding Yourself That You Are Still Moving Forward

    It can be so difficult to feel progress when you are sitting in your old bedroom of your parents’ house. Online school can easily turn into a chore rather than an opportunity for learning. Try and remind yourself that progress is not linear. Some days your productivity may be through the roof and others it may be hard to even get out of bed to turn in any assignments. You can do this, you are doing great so far.

  2. 2. A Change In Scenery

    Getting distracted is inevitable. Try to take some time to go on a walk or at least stretch in between classes or assignments. Try doing your work in a different room than you normally do or switching up your lighting arrangement. 

  3. 3. Staying Connected With Friends

    Online or not, school can feel very isolating when you become overwhelmed. Chasing down deadlines and pulling all-nighters to finish papers can throw you into a cycle of seclusion. Even if you are not able to hang out with friends in person, text someone and see how they are. Talking with friends can be a great reminder that we are all working towards something and  you are not alone. 

Most importantly, give yourself some credit. This has been an extremely difficult year for so many people, for a multitude of reasons. You are doing an amazing job, be proud of yourself and others around you.