Can’t believe we’re back already. Winter break was definitely a much-needed respite from the rigours of university life but my experience, and that of several others like me, were not great. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an international student in my second year of undergraduate studies and this is my first year living in Toronto, so naturally, the harsh winter required some getting used to. Where I come from it’s warm throughout the year, so this has not only been my first ever winter but an especially harsh one at that. To top it off, my residence required us to move out for the entirety of the winter break. As the pandemic has made it difficult for me and countless other international students to go back home, we were left to fend for ourselves, looking for places to stay through the winter break while learning to deal with such low temperatures. So while the break was much needed, I’m glad that we’re back simply because it allows me to be back in residence and in familiar surroundings. Also, with covid cases rapidly rising and museums, restaurants being shut midway through the winter break, the holidays were a rather bleak, and boring affair for me.
Also, the prospect of online classes for the month of January is not lifting my spirits. Being confined to our rooms for much of the day and not having what was once the luxury of in-person dining (for those of us living in residence) is certainly going to affect the mental and physical health of many students and I implore everyone to make use of the resources available should you need them.
Added to all of this is the stress of shifting from an online to in-person mode at the end of January. According to the most recent updates from the University, we will be moving back to in-person classes from February and this shifting of the mode of delivery is not only stressful but also makes it difficult to cope with the academic commitments we are expected to fulfill.
To end on a positive note, after countless hours of binge-watching Netflix, and finally getting enough hours of sleep, I believe I’m well-rested enough going into the new term. Please let us know in the comments how your winter break was and if you feel ready to get back to school.
Mental health resources offered by University of Toronto