A spring break update from Princess

Our next current student update comes from Princess, making the best of studying remotely, and enjoying a few well-deserved moments of down time over spring break:

I am so happy to be writing this from a place of peace and contentment because I would be lying if I said that this semester has been without its challenges. The fall semester was a huge learning experience for me. I met amazing people I am grateful to call my friends and acquainted myself with what school looks like over Zoom.

Going into this semester, I expected that things would be the same and that I’d glide through my online classes like it was no big deal. How wrong I was! I’ve realized that attending your classes, meetings, and doing your homework via the same screen for an extended period of time really does take a toll on you. I’ve also felt severe FOMO because my colleagues in Medford can go on socially distant walks together while I am by myself in Delaware. By the time spring break came around, I made a conscious decision to take care of myself and address the burnout I was experiencing.

Here’s a list of things I did over spring break in no particular order

Princess and friend on facetime1.     Due to COVID-19 restrictions I was not able to travel to my home country Nigeria but I made the best out of where I was. I live with my brother, his wife, and their two lovely children and spending extra time with them was the highlight of my break. Laughing and cuddling with my niece and nephew was the emotional support I didn’t know I needed. I also got on Face Time (not Zoom) to catch up with friends I hadn’t spoken to in a while which was very lovely.

2.     I joined the creative writing club at Fletcher this semester and it has been such a refreshing experience. Having a space to do writing that’s not for a policy memo or a research paper is a very useful reset at the end of the week and I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s pieces as well. This inspired me to work on a short story over the break and I did some fun Nigerian feminist reading too. I would recommend Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atta. Also, join the creative writing club if you like to write!

brownies3.     I haven’t baked in a long time and I decided to bake some brownies. They turned out great if I do say so myself. I also cooked some traditional Nigerian food for my family because jollof rice will put anyone in a good mood. I forgot how much I love to cook and spending more time in the kitchen this break was a great reminder.

4.     I caught up on my TV shows! I watched Alfred Hitchcock Presents because I appreciate a good old-timey mystery, and Sister, Sister brought back beautiful memories of watching it with my mother when I was younger. I also saw Moonlight for the first time (and cried). Finally, I would recommend listening to NPR’s Life Kit episode on dealing with burnout. It resonated deeply and made me look forward to the rest of the semester with new self-care skills.

I am beyond grateful to have had the time to slow down and refresh because it has helped me approach the time I have left in the spring semester with a positive and engaged mindset. I am excited to finish strong and finalize my plans for the capstone research I will be doing over the summer. I am also really looking forward to moving to Medford in the fall and finally meeting everyone in person. To all my Fletcher folks, I wish you good luck on this final stretch. Sending you all the positive vibes.

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