10 silver linings to be found in self-isolation

It’s safe to say self-isolation has shaken up our worlds a little bit (a.k.a. a lot) over the past few weeks. It’s been a really tough time for a lot of people. If you need support, it’s free and available online or by phone for all La Trobe students.

To shine a little light in this dark time, we’ve put together a list of silver linings to come out of this whole fiasco.

1. People are actually showing up for classes online and on time

See all those faces and names in your Zoom sessions? Who are those people?! Turns out they’ve been your classmates all along (or Hamish Blake). Other commitments are far less likely to get in the way of watching your lectures live and attending your tutes on time when you can’t leave the house. You’re also getting a sneak peak into the lives and homes of those you’d usually only see in the classroom. Just make sure you’re abiding by Zoom etiquette and muting appropriately.

2. Pets everywhere are getting the most pats and boops they’ve ever had

Pets all over Australia (and the world) are probably wondering what very good deed they did to deserve their owner’s round-the-clock presence in their lives. No more sitting by the front door desperately waiting for their humans to come home. And a whole heap more sitting on top of laptops as their humans TRY to do some work. This can only be a good thing for both their wellbeing and ours.

3. Your friends are free pretty much all the time

Organising group hangouts can be a nightmare. Jessica has a birthday dinner that night and can’t make it, Jake has a cork and paint session and Kendall has soccer training. Busy, busy, busy. Well, they aren’t anymore!

Despite all the sad cancellations and dreams turned to dust, there’s one big positive. Your friends are free as-can-be to spend (virtual) time with YOU. Whether you’re into Zoom, Houseparty or FaceTime, everyone is available for virtual group hangs most days of the week. That means seeing those friendly faces more often than you might have otherwise.

4. Some of the greatest short video content ever created is landing right now

TikTok has truly unleashed new levels of entertainment over the past few weeks as bored-at-home creators transform into video sensations.

We’ve seen toilet paper mini-dramas, Aussies mimicking the PM’s coronavirus press conferences (not run by Andrew), people struggling with the concept of working from home, Cardi B coronavirus remixes, dads doing the Blinding Lights challenge, homemade reality TV shows, and of course, a plethora of brand new cat videos (what the internet was created for).

Even our very own Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO is hooked!

There is one downside to all this brilliant content though… hours and hours lost after ‘just quickly checking your phone’. In light of this reality, check out our top tips to beat procrastination.

5. There’s more time to study

Turn those P’s into HD’s! With less activities competing for your attention, there’s more time to knuckle down and study hard. Investigate the key ingredients for a winning assignment, get across Zoom and ready to give your best effort in your next online tute, discover how to stay on track with online study and get familiar with all the academic support available to you online. Now’s the time.

6. Virtual fitness challenges and groups are taking off

Exercise apps are getting the workout of their lives right now. So are group chats and Facebook groups with friends using exercise time as a way to bond, compete and have fun together, even though you might be running alone. It’s a great way to stay connected and feel like you’re part of something in this isolating time. Set weekly challenges and make Jerry proud as you cheer on your friends.

If you haven’t been roped into a Zoom workout with friends yet, but are looking for somewhere to start, we’d recommend getting into La Trobe Sport’s free #ActivationInIsolation online series. Exercise from the comfort of your own home as La Trobe Sport staff take you through a series of workouts focusing on mobility, strength conditioning, meditation, yoga, pilates and much more!

7. You’ve got time to Marie Kondo your apartment

Now you’ve got a little time on your hands, you can use them to tidy up your apartment, sharehouse or bedroom at your parent’s house. Those clothes you no longer wear, the random ornaments grandma gave you for Christmas seven years ago, those expired tins of fruit from the back of the pantry – they’re all ready to move on. Go full Marie Kondo and ask yourself, does this spark joy?

8. You can finally read all those books on your list

You know the ones. You’ve been waiting until you had enough down-time to pick up a real page-turner and get lost in a good story. Or, you could read one new book before resorting to re-reading the entire Harry Potter series, again. Hey, it’s comforting, which is a feeling we’d all like a little more of right now. You could also think about reading some great books, but then procrastinate actually reading them by binge-watching a new series. Which brings us to the next point.

9. Enjoying guilt-free Netflix binging

Or Stan, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Foxtel Now, Hulu, ABC iview, SBS On-Demand, or whichever service you prefer. Sit back, relax and watch with abandon. Do your weekly readings and make a decent dent in your assessments and then enjoy guilt-free viewing for hours on end.

10. No parking required

No on-campus classes means no commute and no fighting it out for a car park. It also means no longer having to witness the catastrophic attempts at parking by your peers. Watch the video below for a little refresher on what you could be missing out on right now.

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