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Max’s Quaranblog: Take a Breath and Drink Coffee

Max sitting outdoors

Max LeBlanc '22 is sharing how he is navigating this new reality of quarantine and being a college student. Read his first blog to get familiar with Max and how he is trying to stay productive.

Hello again, everyone! With classes coming to an end, I realized my to-do list was getting smaller. In an effort to minimize boredom and maximize productivity, I am sharing how to make a successful transition from quarantined student to quarantined but functioning, adult on summer break.

Saving Some Time For Self Care

Right now, it's more important than ever to ask yourself, “How am I?” Check-in with yourself and make sure you’re taking the time to reflect and de-stress. For me, this is journaling my thoughts and goals, while still prioritizing spending time with my family. From playing cards with my parents to roping my siblings into filming a Tik Tok or two, family time has helped me stay sane. So what does self-care look like for you? Is it reading a good book? Meditation? Motivational podcasts? I urge you to take this time to explore new forms of self-care and see what you like best.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Bake something new (Bon Appetit just released a great recipe for doughnuts) 
  • donutsMake a TikTok (This app has consumed more of my time than I’d care to admit)
  • Take an online dance class. My favorite is @Ryan.Heffington on Instagram
  • Play with some paint or watercolor: an easy Mother's Day gift!
  • Enroll in a free class on Linkedin Learning. I’m currently learning graphic design! (You have free access through Brandeis using your UNet)
  • Have a movie marathon. My family and I are currently watching the Marvel movies.
  • Redecorate your space - Earlier this week I painted some tables in tranquil aqua.
  • Throw a “Couchella” rave - Get dressed in your wildest outfit and dance it out!
Productive Procrastination: Coffee & Zoom

When I came to college, the number one piece of advice that all four of my siblings gave me was, “take your professor out for coffee as much as you can.” I have to admit up until this point, it always seemed like between class and clubs, I barely had time to get coffee for myself. Now, I have been really enjoying “Zoom and Sips” as I like to call them. On these virtual coffee chats, I have learned many valuable things about myself and my professors. For example, not only did my professor introduce me to various fields that connect marketing and public health (my two passions), but I also learned that my professor prefers espresso to coffee. He also made sure to inform me that good espresso foam should develop naturally from the oil in the beans, not from added milk or cream. So it turns out I’ve been doing espresso wrong this whole time. The more you know! 

Now, I know you may be thinking “my professor and I don’t have a close relationship, and what if the conversation runs short?” That’s a pretty valid concern. Plus, asking your professor to do something that doesn’t have anything to do with your assignment can seem awkward. My solution is to invite a friend from your class to join in on the conversations, that way you will feel more comfortable.

I know it is scary but building relationships with your professors doesn’t have to stop at the classroom door. All of my professors have been so excited that I reached out to chat, even ones that I haven’t talked to in a semester or two. So I urge you to take advantage of not only the wealth of knowledge professors have to offer, but also get to know the amazing people that they are. Trust me, they’re just as excited to get to know you.

To close, I truly hope everyone is staying as happy and as healthy as possible. While it’s great to be productive, we all have our good and not-so-good days. The important thing is to check in with yourself and trust that this will get better. After reading this, I hope you’ve gathered at least one or two things to keep you busy for the time being as we close out the academic year and look towards the summer months.