Morning, self-care routines shift due to distance learning

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Miriam Bloom

Sophomore Ana Cucalon started the school year off with a goal to apply makeup before class. As distance learning continued, she has found herself neglecting this goal and uses extra morning time to sleep.

Téa Tamburo, Content Manager

It’s Monday morning and sophomore Anika Gupta is just rolling out of bed, throwing on clothes and hurrying to her computer. She hasn’t had breakfast or even checked her appearance in the mirror. It’s already 9:15 a.m. as she’s logging onto Zoom. If this were any other year, she would have missed her first period class. 

With distance learning, some high schoolers have adjusted their morning routines to be less time consuming, often cutting back on once-regular skincare and beauty habits since they don’t see anyone in person and would rather sleep later. This leaves students rushing through their routine, occasionally self-conscious of their appearance. 

As the months have progressed, Anika has been waking up later, and her routine has shifted significantly. With all her classes on Zoom, she no longer has to allocate time for a morning commute or worry about her appearance over Zoom, as she would’ve in person. 

I don’t use a face wash or the moisturizer anymore. I just kind of rinse my face with water and then I get to class.”

— Anika Gupta

“I don’t use a face wash or the moisturizer anymore,” Anika said. I just kind of rinse my face with water and then I get to class.”

Waking up right before class is a common pattern among students, both this year and last spring, when distance learning had just begun. 

“I was waking up about 20 minutes before class and just like washing my face real quickly and staying in my pajamas,” sophomore Ana Cucalon said, referring back to the spring. 

“I remember during quarantine, when our classes didn’t even make us turn our cameras on, I would take some classes from bed.”

While students were not required to have cameras on last spring, junior Zuzana Jenkins simplified her makeup routine but her camera remained on. 

“I kind of stopped wearing makeup on Zoom for the first couple months, since it was like, ‘Whatever, I have a blurry camera anyway,’” Zuzana said. “And then I got a better camera and had better camera quality, and I started wearing makeup again.” 

After having the summer to practice makeup application, Zuzana said she now gets ready in the morning in about 15 minutes. However, like Anika, Zuzana has simplified how she cares for her skin, since details, like dry skin or uneven foundation, aren’t noticeable over Zoom. 

“I stopped using moisturizer ’cause my dry skin will not show up on Zoom,” she said. 

With the new school year, students were expected to have their cameras on. In September, Ana planned to make an effort to do her makeup for classes each day. 

“At the beginning of this year, I told myself, ‘I’m going to do more makeup and stuff,’” Ana said. “But then at the end of the day, I always get lazy and just don’t do it.” 

Taking classes from home makes it easy for one to sleep late and neglect hair and skincare during the weekdays. 

“I’m lazy or I’m waking up too late, so I’m literally rushing to brush my teeth and make coffee so I can get to my class,” Anika said. “I don’t even do anything to my hair anymore, which is why I look like a mess.” 

Zuzana gets fully ready for her online classes, but Anika said she and her peers have adjusted to seeing each other on camera right after they’ve just woken up. 

“At the beginning of the year, I felt a lot of self-consciousness, like I would always look at myself on a Zoom meeting to make sure I didn’t look like I had just woken up, even though I had,” Anika said. “But now, I don’t care about that even. Like at my 8 a.m. class, I look like a mess, everybody else looks like a mess, so I think it’s just something that I’ve gotten used to.”