When the year started, I don’t think anyone expected so many avenues of their life to change with no clear end in sight. As a third year student, I already had a set routine that worked for me, but in the span of a few months I had to adapt and create a new routine that supports the current reality - staying indoors and virtual learning. I want to share some of the changes I’ve made in the hopes that you’ll find things you can implement in your own daily routines!
To start my day, I like to wake up about an hour before my classes start. I am definitely not a morning person, but I find giving myself time to wake up, make tea, and eat some breakfast before starting class makes the mornings enjoyable. I also like to make sure I’m up and out of bed when my classes start, because it helps me feel more productive and puts me in the frame of mind for learning! I think, for me, this mindset is especially important with virtual classes.
Most days after my breakfast and class I like to do a workout. Lately I’ve been loving yoga. I find that it helps me de-stress and take a moment to breathe. I either do this in my bedroom, or I book out the yoga studio for an hour! I love the studio, it’s a great way to get out of my apartment and workout in another place that is peaceful and open. Sometimes the HOEM Instagram will have live streams of yoga classes, which I think are great for wellness and mental breaks. After my workout I usually sit in my living room and chat with my roommates while we study and watch some tv. Lately, we’ve been watching funny shows like New Girl and Brooklyn 99!
I met both of my current roommates here at HOEM a couple years ago, and we have been best friends since! Sometimes the three of us will go out for a walk during the day, and grab a coffee, just to get outside. Getting some fresh exercise can be a little more difficult right now, but HOEM is located really close to so many fun areas. My favourite place to walk is the Dog Fountain at Front St and Church St. Exploring the city is a fun way to take a break from studying to reset!
Of course, I am here because I’m a student, so studying and homework is an important part of my day. Getting time to be around other students who are also working on classes helps motivate me and put me in the mindset of learning and studying. This is something I find that I miss when I’m at home. Not being able to go to in-person classes has a way of bringing down motivation and morale, but putting myself in an environment where I get to be around peers and fellow students, and that is centred around learning helps bring a feeling of normalcy. I like to take advantage of the common spaces for studying, especially the Living Room on the second floor. These spaces are a nice change of scenery, and are made for studying, which improves my focus, while letting me be social at the same time!
Once I’m done with my assignments and studying for the day, it’s time for dinner! When I moved into HOEM it was a goal of mine to take advantage of the apartment kitchen and learn how to cook dinner for myself. Over the past couple of years I’d like to think I’ve gotten good at planning and making my own food. My favourite dinner to make is vegetarian stuffed peppers. After dinner, our favourite thing is to grab a blanket, and head back down to the second floor to get comfy and watch The Amazing Race or The Bachelorette! We love getting the opportunity to meet anybody new who comes in while we’re hanging out down there.
It’s so easy to feel isolated these days, but I find being at HOEM reminds me that everyone is living and learning along with me, and there is a certain comfort that I feel while living in a building with so many other students. The university experience is something that we look forward to, and HOEM really helps me make the best of it even in the current climate!