Kelsee Brady, Campus Carrier opinions editor
This semester has by far made up the worst months of my life. I have not been the best student. In fact, I have been the worst at school that I have ever been. I struggle to focus in class, and studying for tests and doing homework feels like I am climbing Mount Everest. I take a nap every day. It has been so easy for me to fall behind in class and on schoolwork. The worst part is that I keep blaming myself for it. Maybe some parts are my doing, but so much of the fatigue and burnout that I feel right now is because of the pandemic. I know for a fact that students across campus feel the same way that I do, and I am here to tell you: it is not our fault that the world is an awful place right now.
As we students know all too well the pandemic has caused the semester to be shortened and given us less breaks than ever before. This has created an insufferable environment that does not give students any time to recouperate, catch up on work or sleep or even catch their breath. My grades have taken a hit, and seeing that low score on Canvas does not make me feel more motivated.
Another terrible side effect of the pandemic is the awful state of mental health. Nearly everyone I talk to is struggling with their mental health, whether this is a new issue or recurring. I am in the same boat. Thinking about the state of the world creates so much anxiety that it becomes hard to breathe. Thinking about school is marginally easier, but the ever-growing mountain of school work brings reality crashing back down on me. My motivation has been at an all-time low this semester, and the procrastination has been at an all-time high. It’s hard to convince myself that any of this is worth it when I remember what is going on outside of the “Berry bubble.”
I saw a tweet the other day asking if anyone had found a cure for pandemic fatigue. I had never heard the term “pandemic fatigue,” but it is fitting. I have been exhausted constantly, and my sleep schedule cannot even be called a schedule anymore. I think so many more of us are suffering from pandemic fatigue than we realize right now. It is likely brought on by a combination of poor mental health and lack of social interaction among other things. It can be hard to push through when the conditions that have created this fatigue have not improved.
With a less than ideal mental health, a shortened semester and pandemic fatigue, it is obvious that so much of what is going on with myself is not my fault. Yes, I make the choice to take naps and not get a good amount of sleep at night, but I cannot change the pandemic, at least not enough to prevent what is already going on in the world. So much is out of our control, and we need to remember that.
While you may feel like you are at your worst right now, know that you are not alone. You are not defined by what the pandemic has made you into, and no one is doing their best right now. No one expects the world to be perfect right now so don’t expect perfection from yourself.