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Staying sane as a METUan during the COVID period

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The COVID-19 pandemic has left our campus benches empty and lonely for the most part. How have we managed to stay sane as METUans during this time.

Are you okay? We have asked each other this question so many times. At times, we give honest replies and other times we keep stuff to ourselves. I agree with keeping things to ourselves but, sometimes we have to let them out. This period is not easy for anyone. Staying sane as a METUan has proved to be difficult especially in this COVID period. Since we are all in this together, I realized that I should share some tips on how to protect our mental health. These things I did, helped me become calmer and thus perform better in my academics.

Talk to family and friends

I cannot tell you how many times I have been so overwhelmed with my academics in this COVID period. 90% of the time, I would call my mother to tell her how hard everything is. She would then proceed to encourage me. I do not know how to explain this clearly but I will put it like this: for me, I have a place where I can draw strength when things get difficult. Friends also have the same effect. In this period, it is a good thing to set some time to communicate with friends to encourage and strengthen one another. There is a saying that goes like this, ‘no man is an island.’ This statement shows us that as humans, we need each other. When you are struggling, talk to someone. Trust me, it helps.

Two friends having a conversation

Take time to rest

I know it is not easy getting time to rest but I promise that you cannot be productive if you are tired. You are not a machine so do not act like one. After attending classes or studying, take some time to freshen up. You can walk around and enjoy the beauty of nature. Staying sane as a METUan should be your number one priority. You can also take this time to make a self-evaluation. One needs to take time and reflect on the events in one’s life. Think of your strengths and ways that you can deal with your weaknesses. As a human, you should always strive to be the best version of yourself. So, as you take a walk or perhaps sit in silence, contemplate on your life and where you want to be. Don’t stop there! Make plans and follow them thoroughly to achieve your goals.

A student taking a nap

Eat well

Whenever I go to an exam, I always come out hungry. In simple terms, my brain “eats” all my food. I believe that other students face the same issue. As a student, a good amount of food is used up by the brain and so, it is important to always eat at the right times. Do not skip your meals. At the same time, try not to eat too much since it might make you sleepy. In the context of eating, it is necessary to talk about eating healthy. I believe that most of us are familiar with the term: a balanced diet. The term simply means a diet that comprises different kinds of food in varying proportions needed for growth and health. This diet includes carbohydrate, grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy products. Let us make sure that we eat a balanced diet to stay healthy!

Work out

This is quite important because we have online education. Most of us are usually in our seats, watching our lecture videos. After our classes, we walk a little around our houses and that’s pretty much it. I dare say that we were much more active before the COVID 19 pandemic. Most of us have probably gained a couple of pounds and that is not completely a bad thing. However, it is important to keep our bodies healthy. Exercising is a good practice that not only reduces the risk of heart diseases but also improves your mental health and mood. Furthermore, exercising has been known to improve one’s memory and brain function. So when you wake up and start planning out your day, do not forget to include working out. There are a number of sports and exercises you can do, for example Judo. It is a very interesting sport. You can learn more about it in the following link.

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A student exercising in the gym

Make a timetable for your studies and assignments

I know most of us have heard the saying, ‘when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’ This statement has a lot of truth to it. Being random can be quite dangerous. Imagine not planning all your academic activities and being very overwhelmed when the deadlines approach. Such situations can be avoided by simply taking time to plan for everything. This will help to reduce stress and anxiety and thus increase performance. Remember to also set time to relax, I cannot stress this enough. The goal of staying sane as a METUan can be achieved by making proper plans and adhering to them. To plan your studying timetable well, check out the timetable for your online exams via the following link.

Summing up

No one is perfect. Most of us are just striving to do better—to be better. Life in itself is like a piano. There are black keys that represent bad days in my analogy. There are also white keys that stand for good days. It takes playing both types of keys to make good music. That is the same case as life. Life cannot be good if you only have sunny days. Rainy days are also needed to help you grow. Growth can be painful, but it is necessary. Think of it like gold being purified and coming out of the furnace with the best quality, you will also come out better in the end. It is just a matter of time, so hold on. Keep on pushing, you’ve got this. Do not forget that staying sane as a METUan should be your number one priority—fighting!

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