While still managing the transition back home and the continuation of classes online, many University of Maine students have discovered coping mechanisms that have helped them stay afloat. Students have been picking up new hobbies, making crafts, learning new skills, exercising and keeping themselves entertained and active in many different ways. Second-year student Autumn Rogers has found that starting a new job, moving back home and picking up old hobbies has kept her busy during this time of change.
“It’s been a pretty tough transition to being back home, but thankfully my family was able to welcome me with open arms and I was able to get a new job,” Rogers said. “Holding to a routine has definitely been beneficial in keeping up with everything now that the structure of campus learning is gone. Between working full time and being a full-time student, I’ve been able to keep my priorities in line so I don’t forget about assignments!”
Rogers is an anthropology student who has recently switched out of the biology and pre-med program. She hopes to continue in-person classes this fall to help her find her passion and discover possible career opportunities.
Her favorite quarantine activities include exercising, playing with her dogs and siblings, going to work and relaxing after a long day. One hobby that Rogers has had time to pursue is knitting and developing her love for making new things.
“I brought all of my craft supplies to campus this fall, but found myself too busy to craft and to spend time on making things,” Rogers said. “I have always had a love for creating and am so happy that I finally have ample time to finish projects. Getting back into my knitting and being able to set aside time to finish things has been incredibly therapeutic for me. It gives me time to reflect on my day, relax and do something productive with my time.”
One way Rogers has managed to stay in touch with friends and family from Orono has been to schedule regular Zoom meetings. She has also had the opportunity to become a founding member of the first online Greek organization for remote learners, called Zeta Omicron Omicron Mu. The organization hosts all meetings via Zoom and has given Rogers a chance to meet new people and connect with UMaine students who have also joined the organization.
“I definitely miss social interaction. Having to leave my friends and the family I have in Maine was incredibly difficult, but I know that it was necessary in order for this situation to end as soon as possible so we can hopefully come back in the fall,” Rogers said. “Everything is temporary, and I realized that I’ll be back with my friends and family soon!”
Autumn’s daily routine usually includes waking up around 10 a.m., completing a daily workout, doing classwork, working and then going home to relax and catch up on Netflix shows and movies. On her days off, she likes to make sure she finds time for connecting with friends.
“Make a routine and stick to it! On top of work and school, you have to make time for yourself to relax and to prioritize your emotions,” Rogers said. “Meditating daily, working out, finishing crafting projects and even simply making your bed in the morning is a really good way to help yourself feel a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to do more throughout the day.”