Confusion, Uncertainty, and the Need to Be Kind
Note (just in case, mainly for copyright): This is a (mostly) duplicated post that has also been posted on my personal blog. I’ve essentially just plagiarised myself (please, please don’t do this in your assignments!).
This is a very different post to what was planned, and not one I could have ever anticipated writing. However, in light of the current situation, I didn’t think it was appropriate to go on and ignore what is happening.
In a post a couple of posts ago I had spoken about the fear of uncertainty in the context of what next in an education/careers sense, concerns over finance, feeling disconnected, and having those anxious, anticipatory thoughts.
Without a doubt, we are all struggling with a mixture of these to some extent at this very moment.
· As students, we’re concerned about the replacement of exams online and the implications of not being in the right environment to complete them to an adequate standard, to not being able to focus on upcoming assignment deadlines and the consequences of not being able to complete research for projects and dissertations. I know that many of us will have secured work experience-y related work over the next term and the Summer which have had to be cancelled, and of course some of us are concerned about how this may affect our next steps.
· A Level and GCSE pupils are faced with the uncertainty of their grades and are worried about how the proposed assignment of grades may not reflect their capabilities.
· Then there are the fears over jobs, finances, and the physical and mental health of others and ourselves.
Naturally, we are all feeling a sense of confusion, vulnerability, hopelessness, and potentially disappointment for a variety of reasons.
One thing I have seen a lot of is people (rightly) expressing their concerns and disappointments, only to be belittled by others. Yes, there are always people who are going through much more dire situations than we are. However, one thing to remember is that someone’s concern is just as much of a concern as any other. It may not be in your perspective, but it is. We’re all in different situations and stages of our lives, and therefore facing different challenges. We all also will have faced some sort of disappointment, possibly independent of those challenges, whether that’s missing out on those months of school and your prom that you have been looking forward to all year, to losing out on a day out that you had had planned, or even something as large as potential research funding.
They are all totally valid reasons to feel disheartened. We shouldn’t be pitting each other against one another. Everyone should be sensitive of each other’s reasons, regardless of what they are. Stress can get the better of us, but we all need each other’s support right now.
That aside, here are some things to keep reminding yourself of:
· We all know the precautions that we need to take. Take them.
· Besides that, Warwick’s Health Centre is still open, but only taking phone consultations.
· Face time a friend to do a daily workout routine together if that’s something you would be into!
· Many of us are unable to access the support systems that we rely on, and that’s tough. Please, check up on your friends. Take advantage of the technology we have and schedule phone calls with them. Sill let out your concerns because we know that keeping them in does no good, but perhaps do that to begin with and steer away from talking about current events for the majority of the remaining conversation if possible.
· Striking the balance between staying up to date but not being constantly reminded of the dreaded word is tricky. It’s all that is ever spoken about, but if you can try and lock yourself in your room to watch a movie or do some crafts to distract yourself, then that’s great!
· Of course, we’re going to have arguments with those in the same household. If you don’t have you own space or privacy (I feel you…) it can be frustrating not being able to get that alone time we may need to clear our minds. If at all possible, tell your family that you’re going into a particular room and kindly ask them not to disturb you.
Besides the point raised at the beginning of this post, racism is NOT okay and there is no excuse for it. This situation provides no justification for it either. This is not something I wanted to bring up but unfortunately it is a problem. It’s incredibly degrading and insensitive. As Warwick students who are part of a wide international community, I know that we know better than that, and hope that we will all continue to support our peers regardless.
To not end on such a negative note, here are some general activities you may want to do in the meantime. It’s so easy to get into the trap of doing work when there’s nothing else to do, but it’s important to give yourself a break, especially in this kind of situations where you may find yourself lacking focus.
THINGS TO DO:
· Every time you wish that you could be doing something instead of being cooped up indoors, write it down! You can still make plans and fulfil them at a later date.
· That Netflix film or book you had been putting off reading/ watching because you had so much work to complete first? Give yourself a break from reality!
· Do you have an instrument that you haven’t played in ages or maybe haven’t even started to pick up yet? Pick it up and go for it. Write that song you had been putting off doing. Alternatively, have a karaoke session with you family if that’s something you’re into (please mind your neighbours though!).
· Keep up those sparkles of curiosity. You may not be able to do that (research) project now, but you can still build up some research profile to keep yourself motivated with new and exciting ideas. It may come into use when you are able to conduct it!
· Crafts and Games: Pebble painting, crochet, puzzles, painting and creating things out of ‘rubbish; (like egg cartons and toilette roll tubes – Google is great for ideas!). This one could potentially turn out to be a disaster but reintroduce those Christmas board games.
· This is a classic point, but that language that you wanted to learn or haven’t returned to since A Level? Why not start now?
· Organise. Go through everything you have and clear it out: clothes, drawers, makeup, anything! You will feel pretty satisfied and pleased with yourself afterwards.
· Keep (double) checking your emails to make sure that you don’t miss updates from your department, Student Communications, the SU, and the Vice Chancellor.
· Shop responsibly. Remember that some people have strict dietary requirements and don’t have flexibility. Taking specially made food from the free-from section because there’s nothing else is detrimental of their health.
Finally, I just want to also take this time to thank all of your family, neighbours and friends who are still working to maintain the running of essential services. No amount of thank yous is enough.
Also, thank you to the members of staff at Warwick who are consistently providing updates and offering continued support to their students.
You can imagine the massive task that universities are faced with transferring to online classes, remotely supporting their students, and reforming hundreds of exams under such a short amount of time. We’re lucky that staff in the wider Warwick community and within our individual departments have been regularly keeping us updated with the progress on alternative arrangements and general updates on a regular basis, even if it’s simply to let us know that everything is still in progress. Plenty of other students are being left in the dark, so it’s something to be extremely grateful of.
Remember that this WILL pass eventually. When it does, you can pull out your list and begin to work your way through it and really appreciate those little things that were once a usual part of our routines.
Be Responsible. Stay safe. Take care of yourselves and those around you.
Virtual hugs and love to you all ?
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