Spring is already a stressful time, but with the threat of illness, campus shuttered, finals moved online and our lives now relegated to our homes, our stress levels have risen significantly.
This academic year really didn’t end the way we envisioned.
But this isn’t the first time that the University of Saskatchewan or this little paper has seen a dramatic change to campus life. The Sheaf, established in 1912, saw students and professors leaving for the trenches of Europe during the Great War. And just over 100 years ago, the university was quarantined when the Spanish ‘flu crept across this prairie city.
Just like you, we are all trying to adjust. A few of us Sheaf staffers would like to share how we are coping through this pandemic.
Nykole, outgoing editor-in-chief
This morning I received an email from my instructor asking how everyone in the class is doing. She explained how she is stressed and scared, especially for the friends and family back in her home country.
The honesty in the email shook me from my all-too-positive thinking. Everyone is struggling in their own way, but I thought what was best would be focusing on the positive. Whenever someone asked me how I was, I had an inventory of good things to mention, all the while neglecting my emotional well-being by pushing my worries deeper until I couldn’t see them anymore.
Though everyone is struggling in their own way, don’t feel selfish or embarrassed to acknowledge how you are struggling. Maybe the purpose of the email was to comfort us, but I sincerely hope that confiding in us was something she needed as well. Being honest might be the best thing we can do right now.
Carlo, outgoing copy editor, incoming EIC
If you are by yourself in your home, just remember that our current situation will pass. In times that you feel out of control, stop and take a deep breath. You must always remember that a calm mind in such chaotic times will help you more than you expect. You got this.
Minh, outgoing and incoming web editor
I’m taking this period as an opportunity to be as chaotic as possible and to tackle pet projects that were put on hold for a while. In the end though, I can’t wait to have the option to reject hugs from friends again — then tell them I love them regardless!
Tomi, outgoing culture editor
Coping is hard right now because I started new meds just before the quarantine, but they weren’t working so I had to suddenly go off them and now my mental health is wonky af. I’m trying to find things to do, but I’m a person who loves the sun and being outside so this kinda sucks.
My hope right now is that healthcare workers are given all the support they need. I work in a clinic, and people are getting snarky because they’re afraid and don’t know what’s going on. I also really hope that people are taking physical distancing super seriously and that the United States gets their shit under control.
Victoria, outgoing photo editor
My hope, as well as my cope, is to become more of a creative being during my isolation time.
Erin, outgoing opinions editor, incoming communications director
My academic background is a great help right now. I am able to understand the clinical details and sift through most of the misinformation. I love virology, public health strategies and infectious disease history, so I am able to approach this with a morbid curiosity that helps keep my fear and anxiety at bay.
But it isn’t foolproof — I keep oscillating between flowing with this new reality to being suddenly horrified by it.
Talking to my friends and scheduling Zoom beers is keeping me sane. And I am hoping I will get a killer apocalyptic workout routine in place before this is over.
Wash your hands and stay safe. We’ve weathered storms before and we will be able to do it again.