Image by Chris Montgomery

COPING WITH ONLINE SCHOOL:
OMICRON EDITION

by Abbigale Kernya,

Youth Editor, KBI Inspire Magazine

Our Youth Editor, Abbigale Kernya, is a first year University student with a passion for music, art, reading, and film. 

As we bring in the new year, the time of reflection is in full swing. For two years, the world has changed in ways I never imagined possible. Last year, I wrote a Hot Topic about coping with online school. Now that I am in my first year of university and online school continues, I thought it was time to update my list with new coping skills I’ve developed and curated.

 

Planning

 

Firstly, I just want to go back in time and wish I had discovered online calendars sooner. I’m not joking when I say it literally changed my life.

Even though I’ve become adjusted to online school and fallen into a pretty steady routine, there are still aspects of remote learning I don’t think I’ll ever master - time management being one of them. With the increase of workload in post-secondary, online calendars have been a massive help in managing my unmanageable time. I am not the first one to point out how chaotic and stressful remote learning is, chances are if you’re reading this - you already know that. 

But…it doesn't have to be stressful.

I personally use Notion.com to manage my personal, professional, and academic schedule, but really any calendar will work. I took around an hour or two to write out due dates, work days, rest days, and schedule my upcoming semester so I know exactly when and what is due, AND when to work on them. 

Seriously, as simple as it is - it’s a game changer I never even knew was there. By organizing my time, I instantly reduced my stress levels and feel more in control of my time; something that has been robbed for so many of us during the pandemic.

 

Taking care of your brain

 

I graduated high school from my kitchen table last year, it’s something that still rocks me to this day. The realization that four years was reduced to one 30 minute YouTube video really broke my initiative and motivation to excel in the fall. 

I know many of you know what I’m talking about. So many things were taken from us, we missed an essential rite of passage into adulthood. But you know what, it’s okay. Really, there are things we had no control over and it’s okay we are upset about it. I spent a lot of my time dwelling on things I had no control over, and in turn I didn’t take care of my brain. But one key lesson I am continuously learning is how to take care of my mental health so I stop dwelling on the past.

I know you’ve heard it all before: take walks, drink water, maybe try a new hobby - but it would be hypocritical of me to preach what I don’t practice. Instead, how I am learning to take care of my brain is to listen to my body. Somedays, I might need to finish all my work in one day to relax. Others, I might have to step away from the computer entirely and do nothing to relax. If there is one thing we have learned through online school, it is that everyday brings a new challenge, and everyday there are new solutions. ​Knowing how to recognize when your body needs rest and when it can work, and how to accommodate them is a skill I am continuously working on, but a skill that has helped me in more ways than one. Your body is smarter than your brain, I think we can all benefit from listening to it more.

 

(P.S. -  You don’t owe anyone an apology for how you decide to heal from change.)