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2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

hiii, I am loving all the positive vibes and ideas for passing the time on my thread about quarantine/lockdown! I just felt like venting a little bit though because I am finding it really frustrating trying to get through this year. I am in uni and it has been ridiculous trying to care about my schoolwork with everything that's going on - we are on break now but I'm dreading going back. I am also doing an internship this semester (working remotely). I'm worried I won't be able to give it my all, since all I can manage to do lately is eat, sleep, watch shows, and try to do some hobbies. I just want to focus on taking care of myself, but life goes on unfortunately, even during a global pandemic... it just makes me feel angry and helpless, the way things totally AREN'T NORMAL anywhere in the world, but we all have to pretend and keep studying and working while the numbers climb higher. This is not to mention all of the other upsetting global events that are constantly happening, like climate change or police brutality. I'm really tired and sad about it all, I wish I could just curl up into a ball and put life on pause.

Re: 2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

Hi @lemurien, totally get where you are coming from. There is a lot going on all around the world and this has been one massive year. It is definitely producing a collective helplessness and sadness. It is a really strange time - a lot of things have stopped but then some things have kept going too. I know a lot of people studying right now who are also worried about their performance and getting through the year. Some of my friends are finding it really hard to stay motivated (to work and study) but all we can do is try our best. It can help to know that everyone is struggling through the same thing because sometimes it doesn't seem that way. It is more than ok to be honest and acknowledge how you are actually going as much as you can/feel comfortable to. Is your uni being more flexible during this time? I know some have made it easier to get extensions which can give you a bit more breathing space in one area Smiley Happy

Re: 2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

Hi @lemurien 

Sorry to hear you're struggling with this peculiar situation we're all facing! I've just finished my degree and was constantly worried about my lack of motivation. A very small yet productive activity I engaged in every morning (which I found helped A LOT ) was writing a list of everything I wanted to achieve that day in my best handwriting. When I had completed one task I'd tick it off or highlight it upon completion. Of course some days were more productive than others, but the amount of satisfaction I felt looking at the ticked or highlighted tasks at the end of each day was really motivating! I found at the start of each day I wanted to have more ticked or highlighted tasks on my list than the last day - and made it like a game!

Although it sounds like a really simple activity, it helped me organise my thoughts, make everything seem more manageable, and gave me a little boost of motivation - which was much needed!


If you ever give this a try - let me know how you go! Smiley Happy 

Best of luck with your studies and your internship.

Re: 2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

Hey @lemurien, I always think it's good to try and talk about the serious side of things- ignoring the dark can sometimes be harmful to the light.

Honestly, I haven't met a single person who hasn't been impacted mentally by lockdown and what's been going on. I think our society has a massive problem with thinking 'it could be worse' and the hustle culture where you need to keep working till you drop and self-care is seen as an option. It hurts to see older generations telling younger people that they should soldier on because it's not like a world war or anything... well, I haven't seen them living through a global pandemic either! I guess the problem is that people are so worried about the world standing still that they won't even slow down Smiley Sad 

I had a serious anxious meltdown after an online exam I sat because it was so unfamiliar and stressful. I actually was beating myself up for not feeling normal about it. My psych made a notable point that my university had put up a fail amnesty for that semester- they basically said if you drop out or fail it won't go on your academic record. How messed up must things be if the university did that! If you look at some things there are signs that people aren't just taking it like it's normal. The voices of those who are pretending are louder, but that doesn't mean there's not those who take it seriously.


Honestly the way I deal with it is to remember that I don't own all the problems in the world. I once read that we've been put on earth to help people, and if that person is just yourself that's okay. I also made a decision that I shouldn't make myself keep up to date with everything horrible going on because it only hurts me and doesn't help anyone. And to go easy on myself, and to remember that this is a fight to survive. Is there a way that you can make your uni experience easier? I know one person who deferred, one person who went part time, etc. I also got an extension on an assignment because I talked to my doctor about my mental health issues getting worse.

Re: 2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

Thank you @Taylor-RO @Ezle @StormySeas17 for your support and advice Smiley Happy


I feel like it's a really hard time to be a young person and it seems like the adults (well, the adultier adults who are older than us) don't understand how serious it is for our mental health. Being young and grappling with adulthood itself is hard enough and now we are confronted with the reality of people dying en masse all around the world due to a pandemic, a recession, and expected to still work/study even though we are not allowed to leave our houses, do most of our hobbies or see our friends and family. The uni has put some measures in place, but students had to campaign hard for it. It makes me sad that my uni didn't want to be compassionate in the first place, we had to force them to do it. It seems that the world is not a very compassionate place.


I had a chat to someone from Beyond blue and she just said "well even though isolation isn't healthy, it's not healthy to get the coronavirus either, so don't you think lockdown is a better option?" Of course lockdown is necessary for our health but that doesn't make me feel any better. She also said "well our parents and grandparents lived through the influenza pandemic" and I don't know how that's supposed to be encouraging.


I just feel really devastated because I have had mental health struggles all my life (it runs in my family) and I have been trying so hard to change things for myself and work hard with a therapist to improve my wellbeing. but there is only so much you can do to feel better in a situation like this. I feel a lot of pain and sadness about everything.


Thanks for listening. I'll definitely be okay, I just had to vent about it!!


Re: 2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

Hello @lemurien, I am sorry to hear that things have been difficult for you lately. From what you have mentioned, it sounds like things were really difficult at your uni for a while. It really sucks that you had to force your uni to be compassionate. It sounds like the chat you had around corona was not too helpful. I am sorry to hear that was your experience. As you said, it sounds like they were trying to be encouraging, but probably did not phrase their words too well. I hope that you have been able to access some other, more helpful supports lately.

It sounds like you have been really proactive with managing your mental health, which is really awesome. I am really glad to hear that you will be okay, I hope that you found the venting to be helpful Smiley Happy

Re: 2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

Hey @lemurien, I'm sorry to hear that your uni was so crappy towards you and other students Smiley Sad And I reaaally don't like the 'well it could be worse' attitude that the person gave you, it works on some people who are in a rut but it certainly doesn't help everyone! Like yes I'm grateful I'm not in a worse situation but that doesn't mean I wouldn't do a lot to get rid of where I am now! 


I absolutely relate to having mental health issues run in my family. My friend linked me to something saying about how people with mental health issues are often some of the most self-aware and emotionally mature people out there because they have to be on constant guard against their own brain, it's true and it's so exhausting. I think you're very aware of the hurt you're feeling and how the virus is affecting you and your mental health and that's a heavy burden to carry. But you've been through inner darkness with your mental health before and you've made it out the other side. And I guess you could that your family not giving up is in your blood too seeing as you're here today! I feel like there's a lot of reasons to give up, but there's lots of others to keep going and not give up hope, even if it is just to honour the amount of work you've put into yourself already. How are you feeling atm?

Re: 2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

Hey @lemurien I really felt the frustration of having those expectations at work/uni when life isn't normal at the moment! You mentioned wishing you could put life on hold. I'm wondering what you think about putting studies on hold? There is nothing wrong with taking time to care for yourself - it's actually the most important thing in life. I've put projects, courses and exciting opportunities on hold to take care of my basic needs before and it really helped. Uni will always be there for you, right now the most important thing is your well being Smiley Happy 

Re: 2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

@Sophia-RO yeah I tried not to take it to heart! I had a much more helpful webchat with someone over at headspace, so that made me feel better. Also I managed to have my partner come over to visit (it's allowed during lockdown, but it's difficult for us to coordinate since we feel unsafe taking the train to see each other) and that lifted my spirits.

@StormySeas17 I really like reading your thoughtful replies. it's good to hear from someone else out there who understands the amount of hard work it takes when you're fighting against a mental illness that has been a part of your family for so long and you're trying to break free of it. And I really like what you said about not giving up. I'm going to remember to honour all the work i've done so far Smiley Happy

@Bre-RO I've definitely been considering it. I spent some time thinking about whether struggling through uni (but at least having something to do) or taking a break is better. Unfortunately it's all a bit difficult for me in that respect since my family don't have much money and I rely quite a bit on centrelink which I wouldn't be able to get anymore if I stop study, and then I won't be able to get a job because of the virus.. ahh! That prompted some of my frustration when I wrote my post, the fact that I felt I needed a break from everything but simply can't have one because of money.. why must money run everything, even when things are so abnormal like this?! Anyway, I am taking a reduced study load and I tried to organise my timetable in the most comfortable way possible so I am hoping it will be better than last semester. But you are absolutely right, there is no need to push yourself unnecessarily when things are hard and taking a break is such a good idea if you can.

Re: 2020 - Why do we have to pretend things are normal??

Hello @lemurien, it’s really nice to hear hat your had an awesome chat with some from headspace that helped to make you feel better! I am glad that you are still able to see your partner. I also find that my partner helps to make me feel so much better when I am feeling down. Sometimes just having him there is enough to help me feel supported. Do you have anything exciting planned for this weekend ? Heart