By Roger Pang, the Stressaholics Anonymous Club, and the Marianopolis For Red Cross Club
Edited By Zhenling Wang
Marianopolis College was officially closed on the afternoon of March 13th, following provincial guidelines. The school remained closed for the rest of the semester as online “asynchronous” courses (aka YouTube videos) replaced traditional classrooms.
As a response, the Stressaholics Anonymous Club and the Marianopolis For Red Cross Club started a survey in May of 2020 on the MSU Facebook group to evaluate the physical and mental impact of this unprecedented situation on Marianopolis students. A total of 65 responses were collected and published anonymously. The results are as follows.
Most of the results were expected. Social interactions have unsurprisingly decreased significantly and Internet usage has on average increased by more than 75%. Moreover, the lock-down has greatly influenced the sleep schedule of many participants. Before the quarantine, most students were getting 6-8 hours of sleep, with an average bedtime of around 11pm. However, sleep duration has increased drastically since the closure and more than half of the participants found themselves going to sleep past midnight. Sleeping later, thus waking up later, was a general pattern among students.
Inconsistent sleep cycles and a sedentary lifestyle can hinder both one’s physical and mental health. It is suggested to stick to a regular sleep-wake routine in order to maximize the benefits from your body’s natural circadian rhythm. As for physical exercise, the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend a weekly minimum of 150 minutes.
Reaction to the quarantine appears to be very diverse among the surveyed population. The pandemic and other unforeseen events have undoubtedly caused an increased level of stress or anxiety to many.
The terminated calculation of R-Score for the Winter 2020 semester has aroused mixed feelings amidst the student body. Some were content to see the cancellation of the infamous grading scheme; whereas others viewed it as a discredit of their efforts at obtaining a satisfactory grade. What many students have agreed on, though, is that academic work has been hard to concentrate on.
Below are additional comments from anonymous participants.
“I might fail a course and then i need to redo it in summer school…which i really worried if i will loose my university offer...”
“Not an official complaint, just a thought: During this quarantine, most professors have gone above and beyond to do what they can to help us (additional office hours, help with material, encouraging words); unfortunately, others are not always as understanding towards this situation or quick to answer questions, and expect in fact more than what would have been expected, were we still in class. Thank you for preparing this survey.“
“I feel really bad and depressed but I don’t want to talk to the counselor on the phone. I just want my class drop to be approved and the semester to be over. At this point I don’t really care if I get good grade or corona”
“Certain teachers have been super professional and kind during isolation, but others seem to be slacking a lot. It would be nice if the school asked us to evaluate each teacher’s adaptation to online learning so they can have a better grasp of what their staff is getting done. Also, I have a little comment about the survey. The categories asking to judge hours of sports/sleep etc are sort of limiting. I would try to suggest a bigger range of hours (like instead of three options give five it will give you better results). Also, I felt like many questions assumed that students were living with their respective families. I think asking if students are living alone/with their parents could be more insightful. Anyways, these are just small comments, overall you should be very proud of this initiative. Stay safe and good luck!“
“I just find it difficult working on the computer so much. Normally, I would alternate the (few) assignments done on computer with book material but now I am constantly looking on a screen. Paired with the fact that I use social media and TV shows to distract myself from all the chaos, I can definitely feel my brain frying “
“Yes, I do have some steam to let off. Where are my teachers??? What are they up to? Like seriously, we don’t have class and the only way they communicate with us besides the occasional office hour session is through MIO. We have to self-teach EVERYTHING and some of them have still been entirely unsympathetic to ANY issues that have come from this new learning situation and new world situation. Also, they don’t answer MIOs very often (usually 48 hours after we send them at least or just not at all) and they take forever to grade our work. I’m just wondering, if they don’t give class anymore and spend very little time on office hours, what are they busy with??? Why won’t they answer our MIOs or express ANY sort of empathy towards people who have had, for example, technical issues or family issues?? It’s not like they’re busy with school/teaching right now because, again, they literally don’t do ANYTHING. *Sigh* Vent over.“
“Stay safe y’all”
“I really miss school, I felt my best then, being around people and being in an actual classroom with teachers. It is nice to be able to make my own schedule and but not as much.”
Click here to see the full results of the survey: https://www.marianopolisredcross.ca/life-under-quarantine.