After almost three weeks of online classes via Zoom, I consider myself an expert at Zooming while maintaining my sanity. It’s not easy being surrounded by the same four walls for almost 24 hours a day, but I’ve managed to make the best out of the situation in a few easy ways that I plan to share with you! There are also some things here that I could definitely do a better job at, so hopefully by writing them down, I’ll be more motivated to follow my own advice. In that sense, my creating this list is, in a way, just as much for me as it is for you. Let’s see how it goes!

  1. Have a designated workspace. You’ve probably heard this one a million times already, but it’s just good advice—not just during this quarantine but in general, too. In my first week of classes, out of laziness I took many of them sitting up in bed, but I literally could not get myself to pay attention for longer than 3 minutes at a time. Once I moved out of my room to a desk downstairs (or sometimes a chair outside like above!) there was an immediate improvement.
  2. Activity = mental focus. You’d be really surprised what even a 10-minute workout in your bedroom (push-ups, sit-ups, planks, shoulder lifts if you have dumbbells) can do for you. That, or a short walk/jog outside, or both if you’re feeling ambitious, improves your mood and focus so much throughout the day it’s unbelievable. The endorphins released and the sweat you get going during these activities bring a whole new level of mental clarity.
  3. Feed your soul. Find a new show, keep up with new music, explore a new genre of movies, do anything to keep your mind stimulated when you’re relaxing. Anyone who knows me knows I love reality TV shows like Survivor and Big Brother, so I’ve been watching both older seasons of Survivor (because there is just so much content to go through) and the one currently airing!
  4. Find a new hobby. Pick up drawing, start reading more like you’ve always told yourself you would, build something, do anything to keep that brain from turning to mush.
  5. Have regularly scheduled Zoom meetings with friends! Every time I log in to one of these with my friends, I audibly exhale a sigh of relief that I’m able to talk to people again, and it feels so good. I’ve also been texting and reconnecting with other people that I haven’t talked to in a long time!
  6. Eat healthy, drink lots of water, etc! This one goes without saying, hopefully. Stay safe, stay healthy, look out for yourself!
Derek Jones

Derek Jones

MAJOR: Industrial and Systems Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Los Gatos, California PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @dmannjones On campus I have conducted environmental engineering research on water distillation methods, and you can currently find me serving as Vice President of my social fraternity and playing on the club volleyball team.