By Le Bao Khanh Mai
Last week, I attended a workshop named “Mental Health Awareness.” I had learned a lot from that event, and now I would like to share it with every student. If you are struggling with your mental health during this pandemic, please take a look!
Since most of the universities and colleges turn into online classes, our schedule has a huge impact. Based on my personal experience, I can watch a Zoom-recording lecture in my bed instead of going to school. Also, all my assignments have to be submitted online with a virtual due date, so I no longer use a paper calendar to keep track of my deadlines. Instead, I use Google Calendar or calendar on my Canvas.
At first, I thought I would have more time to work on my homework and learn more effectively since I can watch the recorded lecture multiple times. However, until my midterm, I procrastinated a lot. I usually put all the work on my due date. At some point, I also forgot to submit my papers on the due date. This problem came to me because I always think I still have lots of time to get everything done. I postponed my work until the due dates. Looking back at my transcripts, I can see that I have more late work in this fall semester than my spring term. It was a red alarm for me when I forgot to do my biology research paper! Luckily, I had contacted my professor, and she extended the due date for me.
To get rid of procrastination, I look up upcoming assignments and finish them as soon as possible (usually three days before the deadlines). And whenever I saw any new tasks, I tried my best to do it right away. Last but not least, a day before the deadline, I check all my homework to make sure that I have completed all of them. I know it will be hard at the beginning, but if you keep repeating it after two weeks, you will see the improvement.
Because I don’t have any in-person courses, I don’t have to get up early or go to class. After one month, I started to stay up late at night and wake up late in the morning. I got up at 9 am on weekdays and at 11 am at weekends, which never happened to me before. Sometimes, I felt sleepy during the daytime but became active around midnight. The reason why I got up late is that I didn’t notice small changes in my daily routine. I checked my newsfeed from 11 pm to 12, and then at 2 am I was still on my phone.
After attending the workshop, I reset my daily schedule. I begin to take a 5-mile walk weekly and make breakfast. Also, I practice shutting down electrical devices such as my laptop and phone when I go to bed. One surprising thing is I begin to meditate 5-minute a day. After two weeks, I feel calm and relaxed. My memory is getting better, and I learn new concepts faster. From this experience, I have a lesson to never underestimate small changes in our lives because its impacts might be huge in the future.
In short, I believe that no one can live your life. Our action today will decide your destination in the future. So, we need to be cautious about every small change happening during your lifetime. Be mindful, be flexible to change.
Le Bao Khanh Mai from Viet Nam is an international student studying biomedical science at Hillsborough Community College in Florida. She loves jogging and watching movies.