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Anna Jenica

Anna Jenica is pursuing her master’s degree in Media Practice at the University of Sydney. She aspires to travel the world and write little stories that matter.

Ways to stay connected during the COVID-19 crisis

The pandemic has forced the whole world into lockdown. Staying home might not seem to be a daunting task at first but as weeks roll by, everyone started to feel all kinds of feelings, including boredom, anxiety, panic, and also… FOMO (fear of missing out).

Some international students may feel like they’re losing connections from being stuck inside their home or accommodation. Don’t fret, because we’ve collated a few tips to stay connected while in quarantine. 

With the world: Stay Informed

It’s important to know the facts of what’s happening around, especially because we’re in a foreign country. Make sure to keep updated on the different policies regarding social distancing, isolation, etc. in the country where you’re studying (we wouldn’t want to pay a fine, would we?).

Also, it might be good to be up to date on news in your hometown. There’s a bigger chance you’ll be less worried about your family and friends if you have an idea of what’s taking place there. And by keeping up to date, it could help get a sense of the “outside world”.

Everything is a lot more accessible these days so watch or read online articles from reputable news sources (beware of fake news!). But remember to be cautious, too. I know reading or watching a lot of news could be too much. And when it does, it’s okay if you want to shut down for a bit.

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With Your Family & Friends: Reach Out

Being an international student most likely means being away from your family and friends. That situation in itself is already hard, I know this firsthand. The good thing though is we have social media to easily connect with them!

Whenever you feel lonely, video call them. Chat like you used to. Go for a game night on Houseparty or a virtual movie night on Netflix Party.

Everything’s virtual but we’re still lucky we have the technology to get to see their faces and hear their voices so home doesn’t seem so far away! Or so it feels like (for a little while). And try to reach out often, too! At least you’ll know you’re not alone, and they’ll know they are not, too. 

With Yourself: Do Things You Love

Staying connected is more than just going online. It is about the real connections and relationships we build, face-to-face or on the web.

But more often than not, we tend to forget that we also have a relationship with ourselves that we should cherish. We’ve become so busy with a lot of things that we unconsciously set aside self-love. Now would be a good chance to reconnect with the person we see in the mirror.

We could start with reigniting the hobbies we haven’t had enough time or energy to continue before. Cook that recipe you’ve saved months ago. Read that book you said you’d read but never did. Practice that dance or song you’ve always wanted to learn. Get that pen and start drawing again.

Don’t hesitate, just do it. You’ve got this.

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Rest

As much as we all want to put checks on our to-do list, I encourage you to also rest. Don’t force yourself to do anything productive or feel guilty if you just lay around.

This is especially harder for us international students, because we still have online classes. But squeeze in some time in your schedule to allow yourself to breathe and just be, even for a few minutes. Let’s listen to our bodies this time. It’s okay. It will be okay.

I know it’s hard and it gets lonelier every day, but we are in this together; and I promise you, we will get through this together.

Did you find this article helpful?

You can explore more stories by international students in our blog.

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