Drained by mundane routines, students are eager for change


Miriam Bloom

Freshman Elena Bloom gazes out her window awaiting the return to normalcy. While distance learning used to be enjoyable, students long for the days they can escape the monotonous cycle of Zoom classes.

Audrey Park, Reporter

During a peculiar time, freshman Mahi Shah wakes up to the familiar setting of her bedroom’s light purple walls, dreary to embark on a day full of Zoom calls and homework. The day leisurely progresses and feels two times as long. While being online used to seem like a luxury, after months of too much freedom and socializing over a screen, she longs to return to the normal life she once had. Mahi uses the same space, sees the same people and sits in the same chair. She struggles to gather the motivation needed to combat the monotony online school entails. Awaiting for change, the cycle repeats in what seems like forever.  

Mahi, and many others, wonder when their normal routines will return and seek ways to keep productive during the pandemic.

“We have a routine at home, but it is a lot different now because there is not always the chaos that is occurring,” Mahi said. “Normally it is always chaotic or you are always going somewhere and there is a time crunch, but now since you have so much time, you feel less motivation to do actual work and things you enjoy.”

As a student who is new to Lab, Mahi believes the source of this feeling is due to the decrease in social interactions and the fatigue that Zoom causes her. 

 “In being new, it is harder to meet people online,” Mahi said, “and though I have met a lot of amazing people, it would have been way better if I could interact with them every day in school and get through the stress.”

Additionally, the repetitive routine adds increasing boredom for students, leaving them to do the same things every day.

Counselor Aria Choi said, “What has changed in remote learning is everything becomes too familiar, a little bit rote, and predictable. It is the same space, computer and Zoom link. It is the same stuff, just a different day. For some, it is really nice. However, some may find it difficult to go about the same activity day after day.”

Ms. Choi believes that the root of this is because students do not receive immediate feedback on their efforts. She compared this to being on a one-way street alone and understands how it is hard to stay motivated, especially when there are no external motivators.

 “One suggestion I would have is to be attentive to how you are feeling, where you are having these feelings in your body, and being mindful of the changes as you are experiencing them. Being attentive and aware of how you are feeling is definitely the first step,” Ms. Choi said. “From there, talking to someone about the changes you have observed in your thoughts and feelings is important because it is very likely that they are experiencing similar things.”

She is hopeful that being in person would reignite people’s intrinsic motivation, interest in wanting to learn and the ability to initiate tasks.

Due to the pandemic, many have been affected in previously inconceivable ways. Miles away from school, people work every day, struggling to stay motivated, however hopeful that one day, the awaiting change they seek will be granted. 

“It will definitely be a process to return to our normal routines because we all now have our own, individual routines,” Mahi said, “but I am extremely optimistic.”