by Marley Reynolds
When 2020 came to a close, many were hoping that 2021 would be a fresh start. “New year, new me” is an often-quoted sentiment, and while it is a nice thought, the reality is far from perfect. The Covid-19 pandemic forced everyone to change how they went about their daily lives. Masks, constant hand-washing, even grocery delivery became commonplace. If you asked someone what Zoom was a year ago, many might not have been able to tell you. As classes are in full swing, Zoom has become a daily necessity to go about a “normal” life. Zoom University is no joke.
Beyond the broad strokes many have made lifestyle changes individually. 52% of those surveyed said they picked up a new hobby during the pandemic. From gaming and gardening to digital art, students are branching out to stay busy, but not all those trying to fill time picked up something new. 71% of students started watching more tv during the pandemic and 67% started reading more.
Being unable to go about life normally has some significant side effects. Many students express the difficulty of shifting to online schooling, and those who attend classes in person note the tense atmosphere that comes with masking and the potential of catching Covid-19. When asked how the school has changed for them, one student notes, “ I don’t talk to as many people and feel burnt out.” Some students have noticed a decline in their mental health due to isolation. 77% said they spend less time with friends during the pandemic, a significant contributor to the loneliness impact people are experiencing.
Everyone’s habits change. While a global pandemic is not the best wake-up call to take a walk or try a new healthy recipe, it is still good to reflect on how to use this time to change your life for the better.