When #StayHome is the New Norm

Aiya Akilzhanova, Class of 2022.

What can you do with the extra time alone on campus?

Different students have different ways to cope with this new norm of social distancing. While it may be a chance to get more productive for some, for others, like Aiya Akilzhanova from Class of 2022, it is a time to step back and reflect. 

Clearing Head Space

“I’ve started meditating and exercising every day in my room,” Akilzhanova said. 

At one point when news became too overwhelming to consume, Akilzhanova decided to delete certain social media applications. Now, she is also spending more time to read and taking longer breaks away from her phone.

A quiet moment in the campus residence. Image courtesy of Akilzhanova.

Online Entertainment

While Akilzhanova misses being in face to face contact with her classmates, she is glad to dust off her long list of must-watch films and books. She is currently watching her films through Netflix and Kanopy, while utilizing YouTube for her daily exercise routines.

Family and Friends 

Akilzhanova has Zoom meetings with her family once a week. “I love seeing how my grandmother is getting familiar with technology this way,” she added. Her friends have also been keeping in touch through memes to cheer one another up.

Keeping a distance from a classmate during the early days of the pandemic. Image courtesy of Akilzhanova.

This New Student Life

When asked about her thoughts on virtual learning, Akilzhanova was pleasantly surprised that “it’s not as awkward as I thought it would be.” While distance learning cannot replace the human connection of in-person classes, she is open and getting used to using new forms of communications with her professors and peers. 

Read: Distance Learning Through Zoom

And the silver lining in remote learning? Being able to dress cozily and, on some days, having long lie ins.

Door sign on campus. Image courtesy of Akilzhanova.