victoria college

How I Cope With COVID-Induced Loneliness

Here’s how I’m coping with feeling lonely as a result of COVID-19.

Move over, Darth Vader, there's a new villain in town. Its name? COVID-19.

COVID-19 has left me feeling isolated and alone after moving back to Toronto this year and resuming my studies at the University of Toronto.

While in a non-pandemic year it would’ve likely been easier to create a community of friends and rebuild my support system, I’m finding it especially difficult to meet people through online classes. Gone are the days of in-person clubs, sorority’s and student organizations. Everything is online and if you’re not an amazingly technology-savvy human being...well, good luck.

I’ve barely figured out how Zoom works—how am I supposed to navigate the application well enough to find my lifelong bosom buddies?

I’ve recently come to realization that it may be okay not to develop that Friends-like group of close buds who do any and everything together. Perhaps it’s okay that I’m lonely. Maybe that’s what COVID-19 means for me right now, loneliness.

Instead of focusing on what I’ve lost, I’m going to focus on what I do have. 

1. The Opportunity To Study At A World-Class University

You never have to ask a U of T student which university they go to. We’ll usually drop it in our introduction sentence. “Hi, my name is {insert name here}—AND I GO TO U OF T” is the norm. 

Aside from being slightly obnoxious, our love for our school is also quite endearing. The University of Toronto is a world-class institution and it offers a quality of education that is difficult to find. Students who attend this university have worked incredibly hard to get here and we’re all working hard to stay here and (hopefully!) move on, too. We deserve to be proud to go here.

2. The Ability To Indulge In Self-Care

Maybe going out and meeting people isn’t possible right now. Even so, there are plenty of other ways that I’m learning to pamper and care for myself. 

For example, every winter when it gets cold, I re-discover the fine art of knitting. Not only is knitting extremely relaxing and calming, it’s also great for people with ADD who need to always be doing something with their hands to focus. I, for one, have found that listening to lectures while knitting is a great way to stay focused.

3. My Health

Not everybody can count on their health right now, sadly. Thus, it’s an extreme privilege to be well enough to eat, cook, exercise and perform basic day-to-day functions that we often take for granted.

4. The Privilege To Stay Indoors

Again, staying safe and tucked away from coronavirus is a privilege that isn’t afforded to many workers across Canada right now. I’m beyond grateful for those who risk their lives caring for, protecting and serving others.

There you have it. I’m lonely, but that’s not all I am. I’m also immensely grateful for all that is currently going right during this difficult time of COVID-19.

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