Advice Column #2


What new hobbies have you taken up during COVID? Do you have any suggestions for other students?

I’ve been going live on Instagram, and just generally talking to friends. 

This is awesome! It is so important to stay connected with your friends right now, and luckily, the technology we use for school and in our day-to-day lives allows us to do this relatively easily. It definitely can be hard enough to remind yourself to check in on your friends and family when everyone has personal matters to manage. I try to group facetime with my friends to talk about what’s happening at school and how our days are going. I’ve noticed that it can be tough to remind myself to organize events like these, but I always feel way better and more relaxed afterward. 

I’ve been baking, cooking, and learning cool new recipes.

That’s great! During the first lockdown in March, I took up baking and cooked dinner for my family on certain nights. I found it quite therapeutic — it’s a great way to pass time and a valuable skill to learn. Especially during the holiday season, where lots of traditions are based around food, family, and friends, it is nice that even though things will look different this year, you can still feel connected and make your favorite holiday dish. What are you wondering about in terms of making safe winter season/winter break plans? 

I’ve been wondering about doing a pod with a small group of people?

Podding, of course, would require approval from your whole family and would have to be done safely. Doing a pod with a small group of people, though, could greatly assist health and happiness by regaining the human interaction that many people usually receive from school. As we have all come to learn, it’s so hard to be away from friends and family members for months at a time, and having the opportunity to safely interact with a close friend or two can really boost your mood and motivation. Discuss it with your family, and see what works for you!

What are your questions and concerns for the last stressful weeks before winter break? What are some strategies that are working well?

Teachers way over-assigning work.

As teachers cram in as many tests, essays, and projects as they can while we’re still in school before the long break, it can definitely feel very overwhelming. I think one of the best ways to get through this stressful time is by just communicating. First, talking to your peers can be very helpful. Whether you need help on an assignment, a Quizlet set for a test, or just someone to vent to, I find that checking in with friends is crucial. Second, communicating with your teachers is so important. If you’re beginning to feel too overwhelmed and drowned in work, reaching out to teachers and letting them know your workload can be helpful for you and for them because it puts into perspective that students don’t only have work for their specific class. Every time that I have reached out to a teacher because I felt like I was juggling too much, they are almost always understanding and either will grant an extension or provide support in some other way.  

My key strategy is not doing work until very late and just hoping the adrenaline kicks in.

As a procrastinator myself, I can confirm that although a very effective method, it definitely does not produce my best work. Since this school year has looked very different for everyone and certain commitments like sports don’t take up as much time as it normally would, I have found that time management is both easier since I have more time on my hands, but also harder for that exact reason. With the new schedule this year, I try to complete all my work for Monday and Tuesday over the weekend. On asynchronous Wednesdays, depending on how many assignments I have due that day, I try to complete all my work for Thursday and Friday. Although this method doesn’t always work flawlessly and there are some days where I’m just too lazy to get all my work done in advance, I’ve noticed that it does help clear up my schedule so that I never feel too stressed over incomplete assignments and have more free time for myself.