Staying Safe and Staying Sane

As everyone knows, life as a UofT student has changed drastically. In a matter of days everything has been shifted online and social distancing has become the new norm. These are scary times and uncertainty has caused so much panic and anxiety amongst our community. Having to do school through all this adds a whole other level of stress, so I wanted to share some tips I have for working from home and just trying to stay sane.

Zoom zoom zoom! Anyone else a little amused with this scramble to be a part of the newly founded “Zoom University”? I had no idea what Zoom was and surely did not know what to expect from it as a virtual classroom. Now, after my first Zoom lecture, I have a few tips to keep the feel of the classroom alive from the comfort of your own home.

My first mistake was thinking it would be a good idea to attend my virtual two hour lecture from the comfort of my cozy bed. Boy was I wrong. Every time I changed positions the camera moved because duh, bed. Secondly my back hurrttttt from sitting in one position for so long. Being crouched over my laptop not only gave me the flattering angle of looking straight up my nose, but also caused my leg to fall asleep and neck to cramp.

To fix this, find a space that is clean, clutter free, and designated solely for school and study-related things. Having this space will help create a focused environment and will be more conducive than making notes on the couch.

Also, make sure to have your microphone on mute unless speaking. It’s distracting when you hear other people’s dogs bark or cell phones ding, so be considerate. Keeping a quiet lecture space allows for everyone to be able to hear the prof and keeps them from embarrassing distractions.

On that note, let’s all make it a goal to get out of our PJs! Yes, for my first lecture I totally woke up 5 mins before my lecture and yes, I was in my PJs… but going forward I’m going to make it a goal to get changed and do my morning routine before I sit down for a lecture or any work. Changing from PJs to day clothes shifts your perspective of your day from a lounging Sunday to a more goal-oriented working day. No one is saying you need some fancy clothes to change into, just shift your day from sleepy to up and ready!



Set specific times for meals and breaks and stick to it. Social distancing doesn’t mean we can’t go outside for a walk! Now that we’re home all the time it’s dangerously easy to fall into the couch trap. You know the one: you sit down to take your 30 min break, watch some Brooklyn 99 or Tidying up with Marie Kondo, and 4 seasons later you realize it’s 3 am.

Don’t worry.
That won’t be us.
We can be better than that.

I’m proud of everyone for keeping their cool and staying on track with facts and questioning things that aren’t reputable. My dad used to say that “pandemics begin with panic,” but we’re all doing a great job of keeping that at bay. Good luck with lectures, assignments and evaluations. Stay safe and stay sane!

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