“I’m my own obstacle when it comes to getting my work done”
Living in a basement apartment, alone and away from family, trying to social distance from society, Jenna Tso has been finding it difficult to adjust to working from home in the last week. Tso is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto but all her family lives in the U.S.
“I have been video chatting with my parents daily and constantly communicating with my friends through text, social media or FaceTime, “ Tso said. “My professors have been doing either online lectures that we can attend live/watch at a later time or posting their normal class agenda for the day with in-class exercises that we can do at home, but it has been a strange adjustment.”
Tso said she has struggled with anxiety and depression and she tries to give herself one thing a day to look forward to and stay motivated. “This can range from baking a dessert, watching a Netflix show, renting a movie online, going for a walk in the park, dancing around my apartment to my favorite songs, to ordering takeout from one of my favorite local restaurants,” said Tso.
Before things get too overwhelming, Tso said she tries to monitor social media and news intake as it can be harmful to her mental health. “I’ve been making an effort to not be too hard on myself if I don’t finish all the things on my to-do list or if I wake up later than I had planned,” said Tso. “Journaling, guided meditations on YouTube or apps like Headspace, at-home workout videos and ASMR YouTube videos have all been really helpful for me in reducing stress and staying positive during this time.”
Third-year Graphic Communications Management student at Ryerson, Selina Milanese said it’s been stressful because there has been no clarity and a lot of confusion as she tries to get back on track with classes. As for getting work done at home, she said it has been a challenge because she lives with her boyfriend and four roommates. “We all get along and everything but sometimes it’s difficult to get work done because they’re always playing video games so there’s lots of yelling at the TV,” Milanese said. “Before the outbreak, I would usually go to the library or coffee shops to study so I wouldn’t be distracted, but now I just have to deal with it by putting noise-cancelling headphones on.”
Fourth-year Professional Communications student at Ryerson, Rebecca Tran, felt less stress in the last week as she aims to complete her final year of studies because she now has the time to finish all her final papers and exams. “Most of my profs have just been uploading video recorded lectures or their lecture notes on slides. I have been feeling a lot less stress and pressure working from home because now I feel like I have the time to do all the schoolwork I need to do,” she said.
Tran acknowledges that working from home makes it difficult to remain positive and stay motivated, but she says going outside for walks, working out, eating healthy and getting off your phone has helped her.
“I live with my sister, so I have someone to do school work with,” she said. “It can be difficult to get work done because we are definitely distracting each other and just goofing around, but it’s nice to be around loved ones in this hard time. We are both students so we are in this together.”