– Jeeyeoun Chae, Maroon Zone Delegate
Staying in Korea for this long was something that I have never expected since I arrived here in March, and I’m sure many international students would agree that adapting to time difference (+14 hrs in Korea) was not easy, especially when you constantly suffer from internal conflict whether or not to attend the sync lectures since it’s always nice to have a bit of sense of community from live videos and chats, which we lack very much these times. At the start of the semester, I decided to watch all the live lectures at the cost of sleep time, but it turned out to be a really bad decision because it soon jeopardized not only my physical health but also mental health as well. In addition, many works from design teams were imposed to certain restrictions being away from Toronto. So throughout this Fall semester, I had no doubt about coming back to Toronto for the Winter term, because as a student whose highest priority is schoolwork, Toronto seemed to be the best place.
However, the situations weren’t as simple as that and later in the term, I had the opportunity to rethink about this and came to a new decision to stay in Korea. This was because the COVID-19 situation was getting worse and the second lockdown was happening in Toronto. Considering various possibilities, including situations where I get tested positive for COVID in Toronto, remaining in Korea seemed to be the safest option because I don’t know how the hospital system operates in Canada for international students. Besides, remote learning is tough for everyone regardless of where you are, and the only biggest advantage of going back to Toronto would be that I don’t need to do any more calculations in my head whenever professors release important dates and time for assignments (which do get confusing and annoying sometimes).
Thus, having made this decision, something I’d like to share with you who made a similar choice as I have is that making a regular daily routine and sticking to it is extremely important in this learning environment. I realized this after sabotaging my sleep schedule during this term. Also, remember the distinct difference between procrastination and self-care. The appropriate amount of sleep, playing video games, watching YouTube, etc. are self-care and not procrastination. It’s always important to have a balance in life and you can achieve that more efficiently by making a regular daily schedule for yourself especially in this quarantine period when things could fall apart easier.