Being in social isolation can be quite boring, and sometimes, it can even be depressing. However, it is necessary to reduce the negative effects on public health caused by COVID-19. Considering that everyone should be at home, we are currently deprived of our frequent entertainment and hobbies, like practicing sports, going to the gym, enjoying a movie in the cinema, going to concerts, and even the F1 Grand Prix has been cancelled. At home, we are not watching our favourite sports, as soccer, footy and NBA leagues have been suspended, so it can be a boring time.
However, CQUni along with many other organisations are providing online events to keep our mood high, learn new things, maintain our health, and much more.
For international students, it is not only boring being isolated at home, but it is troubling to feel so much uncertainty. We are watching from afar the situations our family and friends back home face. So it is great CQUni has managed to provide a bunch of their services online through Zoom and Facebook.
The Careers Hub at the Melbourne Campus has been doing online sessions helping us to check our resume, plan our career, and to create a development strategy to be more competitive after the crisis. Thanks to Deb, our career consultant for the Melbourne Campus. Just some of the topics at the careers sessions were:
- The importance of physical, emotional and mental wellbeing during times of career uncertainty and job loss.
- Career uncertainty as a time for career reflection.
- Understanding the labour market and where current and future opportunities.
- Evaluating your skills for job search, transition and skills development.
- Searching for work in a virtual world.
- Creating a plan for now and for the future.
Social innovation change champions from each campus have been releasing a podcast series to discuss topics such as:
- The importance of mental health and the advantages of mindfulness, in a chat with the director of psychology engagement.
- Optimisation of our working space and how it could help us to keep motivated, featuring the Social Squad.
- Usage of online tools in education with one of our education lecturers.
The campus life committee, a group of student leaders that attempt to improve the quality of life for our fellow students, did a trivia afternoon regarding the ANZAC public holiday. This trivia was held on a Zoom session and to solve the trivia questions we used Kahoot. I participated and achieved the second position. Prizes were given to the top responders. Keep a lookout for other online trivia events that pop into your inbox. They are a lot of fun.
Wellbeing guided activities
The University strives to keep our mental and physical health in the best condition to help us maintain our high academic performance. In order to do so, the wellbeing department has been running weekly sessions of Yoga, Zumba and in-house physical training guided by experts. These healthy sessions are delivered every hump-day via Zoom.
The University has been conducting weekly interactive sessions to train us on psychological practices to boost our studies and reach our best performance. These sessions involve time management practices, development of a proactive mindset, and developing creativity and innovation. The next Smart-Study session will be held on Zoom on the 21 May.
Our mental health department has planned a weekly series of webinars promoting healthy living practices under lockdown. These include expression of thoughts and ideas, reciprocal sharing, effective communication, reflection, mindfulness, positive engagement, healthy relationships and more. The next two sessions will cover topics such as support of disabilities and keeping socially connected and energised. These sessions will be delivered on Zoom on 14 and 19 May respectively.
Study Melbourne is a group supported by the State Government that supports international students. They held an online class to teach international students to take high-quality photos using only their mobile phones.
Museums and zoos
Normally, museums and zoos are visited by crowds of people every day to enjoy a few hours and learn about history, society, biology, animals and more. Thus, in order to help people to keep learning from all they have to offer, they have been showcasing their most popular attractions online and for free. For example, the Melbourne Zoo live streams their penguins walking around the zoo. Other museums in Australia have been doing similar online shows, such as the immigration museum, Scienceworks. Other international museums such as The British Museum and the Van Gogh Museums are also live streaming online free tours.
Leisure and hobbies
Gyms, sports brands, restaurants and cafes are sharing ways to do our hobbies from home. They have launched online challenges such as the Livingroom Cup by Nike – check it out on Instagram. Cafes and restaurants are sharing IGTV videos teaching people how to brew their favourite coffee as their baristas do, and how to do the dishes at home using their favourite restaurants’ recipes.
Instagram has launched free training sessions to schedule self-learning activities and develop skills about how to use Instagram as an e-commerce platform. They explain how to do posts, stories, how to write their descriptions to reach more audiences and how to communicate with followers to keep them engaged.
My tips to face boredom at home
Do not let the situation overwhelm you, this time of isolation could be an opportunity to learn and develop skills, visit museums, see animals at the zoo, enjoy movies or a television series, read books, meditate, do in-house exercise, and even come up with online business opportunities.
Carlos Bravo is a current Master of Human Resource Management student and a member of the Social Squad – a group of content creators helping to promote student and campus life at CQUniversity.