By Taylor, University of Richmond, USA
Hi everyone! My name is Taylor, and I am a current senior at the University of Richmond. Like many students, I have had a hard time leaving my campus, professors, and friends behind with such short notice. Over the past month, my head has been full of thoughts about what my life was supposed to look like during this time: Friday happy hours at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, weekends at the James River, senior celebration ceremonies, and final goodbyes to the people and place I have grown to call home over these past four years.
However, due to the unexpected turn this semester has taken, my life now looks very different from the idealistic images that constantly weigh on my mind. As such, I have had a difficult time concentrating on my schoolwork. However, I would like to note a few things that have helped me readjust and navigate my emotions so that I can finish out the semester strong.
Establishing a Routine
I allow myself to take the first hour of each day to check emails and social media. Then, I do work until dinner time, which for me is usually around 6 pm. While this is a very different routine from the one I had at school, it has provided me with a sense of normalcy during these unusual times, which has helped me concentrate on my school work.
2 Something to Look Forward to
I have found that it is much easier to concentrate on a given task or assignment when I have something to look forward to at the end of each day. For me, this ranges from zoom calls with friends, to spending time with my family, to watching my favorite tv shows once I am done with work for the day.
My favorite ways to exercise are running and biking. I usually exercise at the end of my “workday,” as, at college, I would go to the gym after my classes were over for the day. Incorporating exercise into my schedule helps my routine feel a little bit more normal and makes me feel more accomplished, the combination of which energizes me when it comes to my schoolwork.
4. Staying Connected
As I am a very extroverted person, social distancing has been a challenging adjustment. However, utilizing technology and different social media platforms (especially zoom) has helped fill the social void in my life, and has allowed me to virtually stay in touch with my family and friends.
5.… and Disconnected
Just as it is important to stay connected during these times, it is equally as important to sometimes disconnect. Now, people have more free time than ever, which can result in people reaching out at higher rates. As such, when working on more demanding assignments, I turn my phone off so that I am not distracted by notifications. Doing this allows me to focus on the task at hand, and complete my work more effectively and efficiently.
Good luck on finals everyone, and stay safe!