As we enter the final month of the year, there comes many reflections on what this year has been like especially considering that we’ve lived about 9 months of it in a state of uncertainty. I’ve definitely had mixed feelings when it comes to online classes, and being at home 85% of the time. In the beginning, I felt anxious as I still had to go to work amidst a pandemic when the majority of businesses and schools were closing. Thankfully, many safety provisions were introduced, but I think the very abrupt moment of change for everyone was a struggle. Now we have adapted a lot more and I think that shows in our behaviors whether it’s the too comfortable mask-wearing or Zoom etiquette.
I just wanted to recognize – as I am talking of my own experience – I have been very privileged during this time to be able to attend online classes, have a wifi connection and laptop, a place to stay, and be healthy when there are a lot of others who may not. I am very grateful for all the people who have put in the extra work to support others during this time including frontliners, student volunteers, professors and tas, as well as my friends and family. Shout out & virtual socially distanced hug to them. <3
Now back to my quarantine experience so far… As a homebody, I think at the beginning of quarantine I felt as if I was thriving a bit. I could finally get 8+ hours of sleep, I wasn’t always worried about missing the bus, and I felt like I overall had more time. I had more time to talk to my family, go on long walks during the day, and even fit in an at-home workout. Slowly the novelty of being at home wore off, I would be happy to go to work for the chance to socialize with someone outside of my household, the days got greyer, and I started to wake up later and later so I had to set alarms so I wouldn’t sleep through my 10:30 am classes.
I guess I’ve learnt to embrace the positives like more time but also felt the negatives like how hard it can be to maintain a balance when your bedroom is your school/office/gym/ basically everything. It’s something else to be able to have your bed right there (how many times during the school day did I wish for a nap in my very own bed?) but also miss getting dressed up in the morning, waking up on my walks to the bus, seeing friends, and maybe grabbing a matcha latte between classes. Just a few weeks ago during a break, I hopped on my bed and started watching TikToks, which was fun but then I pictured how if we were in person I could be talking face to face with my friend instead. I texted her this and she agreed, if we were together we could go and get cookies from the cafe around the block. :’)
I think the approach at the beginning of it all was to replicate the in-person experience as much as possible -camera and jeans on – but a lot of people have gone back on that. I think it is okay because the reality is it’s not the same and never will be – this experience has for sure changed us as we continue looking for a balance between our online and in-person lives.
*cover photo is my own* – a rainbow amidst these grey days!