Photo Credit: Lucy Maureen on Pinterest
How an SMC student combats boredom and frustration in isolation
Victoria Marinelli, The Mike Contributor
I have always been someone who functions best on a familiar schedule. However, these last few months have taught me that nothing is set in stone and everything is constantly changing. I went from my typical days of commuting and meeting up with friends in the Coop, to rolling out of bed and into a Zoom lecture. Like everyone else, I’ve had to adapt, and I think after nearly seven months, I have finally settled into my new routine.
I try to wake up around 10:30am every day. I have never been a morning person, so in a way this quarantine has greatly benefited my sleep schedule. After waking up, I check my social media channels for any interesting/important news, and make my way to the kitchen where my sister (bless her soul) usually has a fresh pot of coffee made. She, unlike myself, actually enjoys waking up and functioning in the early hours of the morning. After pouring a mug of coffee with some almond milk, I start my day with a light morning routine. I put in my headphones, turn on my favourite playlist, and walk around my house while drinking my coffee. I know, it sounds really silly, but I find that listening to music helps me get into the proper mindset to do work. Rather than waste time, I combine my meditation, coffee, and exercise into a single 30-minute block.
By this point, I have somewhat woken up and am ready to start working. My work flow differs day-to-day and week-to-week, depending on which deadlines and assignments require my immediate attention. I find that having a monthly calendar filled in with due dates helps to keep me on track. Since by 11:00am I am never in the mood to do my readings, I usually look at my lectures first. I find that lectures are easier to follow along to, and the process of taking notes forces me to focus on the material at hand.
In between our afternoon lectures, my sister and I will sit and have lunch together. We typically alternate who cooks and who cleans up, based on the timing of our respected classes. By this time in the day, I usually start on my readings for various classes. I try to structure my reading schedule so that I will do the readings for classes that I have earlier in the week first, and then go from there.
In the late afternoon, I start to feel restless; I want to do anything except more work. At this point, I usually do some leisure reading, watch an episode of Friends, or take a walk around the block. On the odd day if I have a lot of built up stress, I might throw in a Pilates workout or a Jane Fonda cardio session to force myself to focus on something other than school work. These 30-or-so minutes help to clear my head and allow me to continue working efficiently. After having dinner with my parents, I usually continue working in bed. After about eight hours of sitting at a desk, a comfortable change of scenery is definitely welcomed.
While I may not be a morning person, I am definitely a night owl. From around 8:00pm onwards I work on various assignments that I may have, and continue with any work left over from that day. While some find themselves to be the most productive in the morning, I find that my best work happens from 10:00pm-3:00am. I usually continue my schoolwork until around 2:00am-ish; at which point I decide to pick up one of the books that I am currently reading, and read for pleasure until I finally decide that it is time to go to sleep.
My current days are starkly different from my previous 8:00am wake up, hop on the subway, go to Starbucks and stroll into class days, but they have offered me a new perspective. Change can be hard and unnerving, especially if you thrive off of structure like me, but we just have to find a new path that works for our individual needs.