By Megan Tran
Edited by Natalie Grace Sipula
[3 minute read]
It’s the middle of the semester (already!) and most college students are beginning to feel the “burnout” that midterm season usually brings about. Taking classes online and being on your computer all day is causing a condition that many people have coined “Zoom fatigue”. The constant meetings and classes conducted through Zoom calls can be exhausting and leave students feeling unmotivated and unfocused. Here are a few tips on how to stay sane as we navigate this new world of online interactions.
1. Remember to take breaks
It is easy to forget to take breaks when there is so much to get done, and when there is no separation between work and home space. However, even a five-minute stretch and water break can make a big difference. Reward yourself after finishing an assignment or exam by taking the night off and watching a movie. I also suggest rotating between study spots, like your bedroom, kitchen table, or living room. A change of scenery will be refreshing and keep you motivated.
2. Go outside
Being cooped up indoors is not typical of a regular school day. Usually, we are out walking to class, getting coffee, or doing homework somewhere on campus. It’s important to go outside at least a couple of times a week and get some Vitamin D! I’ve been making an effort to study at TCC, hammock at McCarthy Quad, or go on a walk almost every day. Finding excuses to leave my apartment changes up my daily routine.
3. Make an effort to talk to friends and family
Having school and work online can be isolating and lonely. Even though you may not be able to see your friends and family in person, you can still make an effort to keep in touch with loved ones through text, Facetime, and social media. Just because we’re limited to online interactions, doesn’t mean we have to miss out on all human connection. Check in with your friends as frequently as you can. An unexpected message can make someone’s day!
4. Find hobbies that don’t involve a screen
Between Zoom meetings, checking social media and watching Netflix, our daily routine revolves around technology and staring at a screen. (Extra tip: wear blue light glasses!) It’s important to involve yourself with activities that are offline when you find yourself having free time. Things like running, yoga, biking, reading, and cooking are all socially distanced hobbies you can take up. Personally, I just started learning how to play the ukulele, and I’ve been really enjoying it so far!
5. Last but not least: Don’t be so hard on yourself
Remember that this is uncharted territory for everyone, and we’re all trying to adjust to this “new normal”. It’s okay to get frustrated and feel down sometimes because this is all difficult to get accustomed to. If the pandemic is affecting your ability to perform your best in school, reach out to your professors and advisors for additional help. Now is the time to practice self-compassion and remind yourself that you’re doing your best and that’s more than enough!
Megan is studying Psychology with a minor in Consumer Behavior. Having lived in the Bay Area her whole life and currently attending school in Los Angeles, she can’t imagine living anywhere else besides sunny California. Growing up as a Vietnamese-American, she is fluent in both English and Vietnamese, as well as Spanish at an intermediate level. She is a member of AcceptedSC, Trojan Support, and a tutor for Psychology courses. Megan enjoys watching movies, shopping, eating good food, and going to the beach.