Afzaa shares her struggles as a student during Covid. How she managed to share her feelings and what helped her during tough times.
– Afzaa Zamir
I’ve always struggled with the idea of the unknown as it’s something you can’t prepare for; for instance, hard-hitting truths such as grieving the death of a loved one or waiting back for results from a test you did. When Covid hit during my first year of university, it really took a toll on my mental health as it left me and lots of others so anxious and scared for the future.
University had been a safe place for me to socialise, ask questions and learn; and that dramatically changed when all schools/universities were shut down. Learning behind a screen really caused me to struggle. I felt words were just being thrown at me and there was no effective way of truly learning the way I was meant to.
To help ease my mind, I found solace in taking long walks and listening to podcasts as they helped clear my mind and keep me grounded. I especially enjoyed listening to podcasts during my commute as they allowed me to ponder and reflect which kept me refreshed. Podcasts became such a big favourite of mine. I was on Spotify and was given multiple recommendations, I gave them a try and I found comfort in the words of others. I loved it so much that I actually started one and plan to upload new episodes very shortly. I found talking about how I felt, whether it was to a friend or out loud, refreshed the overwhelming thoughts in my head.
I also found therapy in colouring. It really healed my inner child and helped to boost my imagination, my concentration and gave me boosts of serotonin. My sister also found colouring with her daughters helped her connect not only with them but also helped her clear her mind after a long, hard day. Thus, I took to colouring whenever I felt stressed, overworked, or even bored. I would set an alarm for an hour every day and I’d listen to music and colour a new page. It was therapeutic and cathartic to my soul and brain.
These methods may seem simple, but they supported my vulnerability of being afraid of the unknown. Doing what I was so comfortable with and so knowledgeable of eased my brain and helped me adapt to a situation that seemed there was no getting out of. It helped me realise how I could handle my struggles and that if I could work through them then I could help others, too. I wanted to share tips and guidance for those who feel they are struggling to let them know, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
My name is Afzaa, I’m a university student who unfortunately spent most of her degree stuck behind a computer screen due to the pandemic. I’m sharing my story as many students like myself found ourselves at rock bottom, struggling with deadlines, mental health and anxiety about the worldwide pandemic.