photo courtesy of Alexandria Zine

By Alexandria Zine

The balancing act in quarantine is between self-care and academic responsibilities, but is it possible? Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) students are generating ideas to reel in their emotions as they comply with the demands of life in quarantine, and the outlook is uplifting. Some students find a combination of mental exercise and physical exercise to be crucial for their health during this time.

Since our radius of movement is quite small, students are relying on their imagination and ingenuity to redefine joy. Madeline Slaughter, a 4Cs student, finds that a variety of activities in our fixed routines can keep everyone zealous, despite restrictions. “I would say that meditation, journaling, taking short walks, and spending time playing board games with my family helps a lot.”

The preference of other students may be solely mental stimulation or solely physical activity. Another 4Cs student, Madeline Gavin, has an incline towards physical exercise and feels that she reaps more benefits from it. “When the weather is nice, I go for walks/runs with my dogs.” Another activity that minimizes her stress is an individual soccer practice.

Furthermore, isolation can make it easier to slip into a depressive state. The swings in mood during this time of confusion makes possessing that motivation for time management and completion of tasks arduous. A student’s home life is full of many distractions that can inhibit their level of productivity or their enthusiasm for constructive activities. Despite the alterations to previous routines, Madeline Slaughter said that “…keeping the lines of communication open with professors and advisors really helps,” primarily for their empathy and suggestions for maintaining focus/concentration on academics.

Some students are still navigating this period of adjustment and view this unfortunate shift to online learning as drawing from their ability to succeed. Madeline Gavin said she feels “…much lazier to do work due to all the distractions in the house.” On-campus learning recognizes the disparities in the learning methods of students, be it visual, auditory or specifically the assistance of a tutor. Remote learning can intimidate students from asking for help, that is if they have access to technology. If students need 4Cs to lend them a computer during this time, they can contact their advisor or the school’s tech department for the specifics of procuring one. For most students, the setting or space, such as campus, provides that essential cue that they devote their attention to particular tasks. Students from every age group, regardless of diverse personal responsibilities, feel the pressure of this pandemic mentally.

Moreover, Madeline Slaughter feels that the 4Cs app offers other resources and another source to lean on during this disheartening period. Technology is the foundation for communication and connections throughout this pandemic. Although many may object to continuous use of technology and its potential to steal attention rather than to assist, it seems to beat the loneliness that accompanies isolation. This positively contributes to the mental health of students who search for the support of the Wellness center or any other group or club on campus. It is a reminder that physical boundaries and distance can be transcended by human creativity and technology. The effects of isolation seem to diminish when there are various forms for communication to take place. Even though this virus has cornered us and has led to confinement, there seems to be a renewal of bonds and understanding in this collective struggle.