I think we can all agree that times are difficult right now academically, emotionally, and mentally. Luckily, there are people who’ve managed to use this unprecedented event of change and chaos to improve and build upon themselves. Therefore, there are some who view the personal consequences of the pandemic, positively.
Unfortunately, I do not fall into that category. While I have done many things during this time that I would have never done before, and have transformed into a completely new person, this academic year and particularly the current academic semester has proven to be a great challenge. In fact, I have not felt at peace in a long time because I have forgotten what it means to live and enjoy every moment of the present.
Strangely enough, the majority of students I speak to in the same situation and environment as myself, share my concerns. So, I guess the reason I really wanted to write was to tell anyone who has felt extra stressed, extra down and extra overwhelmed, that you are absolutely not alone. Of course, the fact that many people are going through it, doesn’t automatically eliminate the hardship. But sometimes it does make dealing with it easier.
This semester, I became overwhelmingly stressed to the point that I felt that I could no longer juggle my courses the same way I used to do with proficiency. This caused me to drop a course, take a break from work and slowly grow more ineffective in my classes. I hate to admit it but I feel as though a combination of a lengthy lockdown, cold dark Canadian days and being stuck behind my computer screen without human contact, had finally broken me.
And as I discussed some of my challenges with my classmates and friends, I began to realize that a large majority of people have felt and experienced similar emotions as myself. I have heard many students complain about the fact that the stress and negativity that fills them, has prevented them from truly learning much through their classes this year. I have also realized that many students have had more trouble controlling their emotions and handling their stress responses, as we delved further into the lockdown.
For this reason, I wanted to share my very personal experience. Because I think that oftentimes, it helps to know that others can sympathize with you. It’s important to remember that there are many ways we can try to help make things easier for ourselves during these times. Some of the ways that I like to relax include meditation and yoga, but speaking to a therapist is always a very good option as well. Because at the end of the day, simply acknowledging that a problem exists isn’t enough.