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(Part 2) Campus Quarantine: How I’m Coping with COVID-19 as a Student

By Jordyn Grantham | November 20, 2020
I never thought the pandemic would still be a reality this close to Christmas, but here we are in the middle of November and in the midst of the second wave. In part 1 of Campus Quarantine, I reflected on the sudden change in schooling, going from in-person to remote.  In this post, I’ll talking about the adjustment to the new virtual learning reality.

The University of Saskatchewan announced that the majority of the fall term would be delivered remotely on May 12th, 2020. Upon hearing this announcement, I was optimistic and looked forward to seeing what learning would look like in a remote setting. I was happy to be able to save money on rent, avoid the stress of moving, and spend more time with my loved ones when safe to do so. And let’s be honest it’s every student’s dream to listen to their lecture while drinking a fresh cup of coffee still in their pajamas and housecoat! Or is it? I am thankful for the time I get to spend with my cohort of family and friends. I wasn’t able to see them as much as I would have liked over the spring and parts of summer due to social isolation guidelines and would not be able to if living in Saskatoon. I am also thankful that the flexibility of remote learning also allows me to maintain casual employment, which is such a privilege in this difficult time. However, I miss the classroom!

Time management may be the most important skill to have to be successful in an online learning landscape! As the semester carries on, my excitement around remote learning has faded slightly. I am a student that gets distracted easily, I need a strict schedule and the quiet section of the library to study and complete assignments. Something about the library is so motivating! This semester has required a lot of adaptation and patience from both the students and professors. Technological difficulties are common, group work can be a struggle, and flexibility is key! Our classes have been a mixture of synchronous (think scheduled lectures) and asynchronous (recorded lectures and student-based learning), while labs and assignments have been creatively restructured.

Some students may worry about the lack of volunteer opportunities or feel unsafe to volunteer in person. Luckily there are other options, I have taken full advantage of the virtual volunteerism. There are a lot of opportunities now offered remotely that may not have been possible before virtual workplaces became a reality. I have found there is numerous ways to make a difference in the community if you get creative. I would encourage students worried about volunteer time or resume experience to think outside the box. Maybe join a committee for an organization you feel passionate about, take advantage of the reduced costs or free conferences now available, or maybe try assisting in research. And of course, volunteering in person can still be possible with appropriate precautions in place!

A lot of the tips I listed back in the spring hold true. An additional piece of advice I have for students that are finding remote learning difficult is to reach out to your classmates for support! They may be able to understand the struggles you are having better than your friends or family. I find that whenever my classmates and I meet for a group project we spend a good portion of the time just discussing our new learning landscape and catching up. I think this shows that we are missing that daily connection with one another! Of course, if you are really struggling reach out to the supports provided by your respective university!
Remote learning is our reality for the foreseeable future, and I intend to try and keep a positive outlook, but I’ve realized that it’s kind of like a roller coaster.
  • Sometimes it’s fun and exciting.
  • Sometimes it’s very stressful and you can’t wait to get off.
  • However, you’re strapped in and may as well make the best of it!
So even though I know I should get dressed for my 8:30 am lecture tomorrow and watch it at my desk I know I’ll be watching it in my pajamas, on my sofa, with a fresh Americano in hand. This habit may not be the most productive, but it gives me joy and that is just as important as checking tasks off your to-do list.
This is by far the most unique university experience I’ve had thus far, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to pursue my education. If the start of this journey proves anything, I know my path to be becoming a dietitian will be an interesting one at that.

Read Part 1 of Campus Quarantine


Jordyn is a 2nd year Nutrition student at the University of Saskatchewan. A former ultrasound technologist who’s passion for cooking led her to back to school as a mature student to become a registered dietitian! She is passionate about all things food, cooking, and gardening and is most interested in public health nutrition, food security, and health promotion.

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