This year has brought a lot of changes to not only to myself but everyone around me. One of the biggest changes has been the transition from face-to-face to online work and school which has presented a new set of challenges, one of which is the stress that comes along with learning a new set of skills. I was thankfully used to working online as my classes for the past year and a half have through the Public Health and Social Policy program which is fully online. But then the platform used by the university changes from Coursespaces to Brightspaces which added a whole new layer of stress to my life. This made me reflect on how overwhelming this must be for my fellow students, teachers, and people in my life who have had to switch to remote learning for the first time. While I was somewhat familiar with navigating online platforms for communication, many were not and I commend ALL of you for doing your best with the cards you have been dealt with. It has not been an easy year. In addition to being online for work and school, our in-person connections and the communities we have made have been limited and largely moved online as well.

Being limited to online interactions can be isolating, but it does not have to be. There are ways to foster communities online and it is extremely important to retain those bonds (and create new ones) in this ever-changing environment. Communities are no longer tied to geography thanks to the internet.

Stay safe out there everyone and I hope you continue to foster communities in your life in this new online world.

I make sure that I keep in touch with my closest friends and family weekly, even if it is just a simple text message (I prefer sending audio messages) or a biweekly set phone call (or Zoom call). Keeping in touch with our loved ones can help us all feel less alone. And fostering a sense of communities based on our hobbies or mutual interests is another great way to create a balance in our lives. For students at the University of Victoria, many clubs have transitioned to an online format and there are new opportunities popping up all the time.

Cheers! Tiffany

The views expressed in this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the University of Victoria. I monitor posts and comments to ensure all content complies with the University of Victoria Guidelines on Blogging.