Staying Motivated & Socially Connected

SSI Spotlight Spring 2020 - Kami Boutotte

kami

Hello everybody!

I hope this post finds you healthy and well! If you don’t know me, I’m Kami, a freshman from Jones and one of your FLI ambassadors. As of now, I’m doing ok. These first weeks of online classes have been difficult to navigate for me personally, and I suspect many of you are feeling the same way.

Trying to create and maintain a schedule of work, sleep, and attempting to socialize (virtually, of course) is really difficult, and if you feel like you’re not doing enough, that’s ok. Nobody expects you to cure cancer or write a modern adaptation of each and every of Shakespeare’s works. All you can do is your best, and if your best is just signing onto a Zoom lecture and listening to your professor, that’s ok. Let’s just try to get through this. With that being said, I want to share some tips on how to keep up with classes the rest of this semester:

1. When you get out of bed, get dressed, eat some breakfast, and get ready for the day. Even with us being online, getting ready for the day as if it were a normal one can help a lot. For me, if I don’t change out of pajamas, I feel lethargic and unfocused for the rest of the day. Actually, today I practiced this tip and it helped me a lot. I started jotting some notes for a paper, checked my emails, and sat down and wrote this blog post after putting on different clothes (still comfy) and my favorite sweater.

Think about your mornings. Are you getting up at the same time everyday? Do you feel like you’ve gotten enough sleep? What are things you can look forward to when you wake up? Say you like to drink coffee. Planning to have that cup of joe before your classes can motivate you to get up and moving.

Anything that makes you happy and gets you out of bed can be part of your morning routine, even if it's just a shower. Working in your bed can cause you to feel drowsy during work, or make sleeping difficult. The same applies to clothing. Your brain categorizes everything around you and tries to respond to these before you even interact with them. Having a space where you just sleep, and a space where you just work can help your brain significantly to be productive. No matter what, the important thing is to get OUT OF BED and GET CHANGED.

2. Reach out for social connection. With social distancing, nobody gets the same social connection as we did before. No more hugs from your friends in the commons, or waving hello to your fellow college friends on campus. These things would happen unplanned throughout the day, and they don’t necessarily occur at home as easily. Socializing is equally as important to your overall wellbeing as keeping up with your schoolwork, and that’s especially difficult under current conditions.

Be sure to schedule some time from your day or your week to connect with your Rice family. I make it a goal to call or text at least one of my friends every week. I know it’s difficult to reach out, especially for introverts. Remember that everyone is in the same boat as far as socializing goes, and your friends will be happy to hear from you. Before I left, I developed a great group of friends that would hang out almost every weekend and always supported each other. To try and keep that up, we started a discord channel to keep in touch and hang out every now and then. We’ve played games online together with the voice channels on, and it’s almost as good as hanging out at Rice.

My personal favorite is a game called skribbl.io, and is a free multiplayer online Pictionary type of game, and you can even enter customized words into the word bank to have a great, personal game. However you do it, connecting with your friends is really important and I highly encourage you to be active in your group chats and take advantage of the online resources to do so.

Even with as fun as these games can be, I’m certainly looking forward to going back to Rice next semester, and I know that everyone has something or someone from Rice they’re looking forward to seeing. Stay strong, and keep in mind that as long as this feels, it is only temporary.

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