Max's QuaranBlog: A New Normal

Max LeBlanc

Hello Brandeis! I’m Max LeBlanc, a sophomore majoring in business and HSSP with a minor in Italian studies. Like you, I have been quarantined at home (in Maine) trying to navigate this new normal of virtual classrooms, off-site internships and Zoom communications. 

Life at home in the middle of March is a lot different than life at college. I’d be in class, hanging out with friends and going to my internship four days a week at the Hiatt Career Center as the marketing and social media intern. My cubicle has now become my kitchen table where my parents are currently playing a heated game of cribbage; it’s all been very interesting, to say the least.

If you’re reading this, I’m sure you can relate in some way which is why I am hopeful that I can pass along some tips that have been working to keep me sane. Let’s face it, we could all use a little motivation and serotonin right about now!

Bad Habits

Admittedly, I was waking up at 12:00 pm every single day. I may not have felt as bad about it until I was faced with my mother’s astounded stare at my bed-head and utter lack of morning activity. With that, I knew I had to eventually switch up my routine and fight the urge to ‘bed and binge’ all day and I was successful in implementing a few small steps that made a large impact on my attitude.

The Need to Process

The first step was processing the question “wait, what just happened?” The transition from normal to our current state was so rapid I swear I got emotional whiplash. It left me with many feelings that went unprocessed; especially the one thing that I think we’re all feeling right now, which is grief. Grief for lost time, canceled plans and a semester cut too short. It’s important to process what we all lost in this difficult time, so acknowledge that pain, but don’t let it determine how you go forward.

Changing My Mindset

Creating a good mindset was what really started to change how I went about my day and viewed my situation. One of the first things I started doing was practicing a daily action of gratitude. Every morning, I would write in my journal five things that I was grateful for. It could be as simple as being at the lake on a hot summer day, or nights spent with my friends in Farber. Either way, this practice reminded me that there are more things out there in the world than canceled plans and alarming news articles. It allowed me to start my day on a good note and thus created a path to having a good day. 

Making Plans

Once I was through processing what had just happened, I started asking myself, “Well, what can I do now?” and that question was even harder to answer than the first. Here is where Hiatt comes in. Sure we may have canceled our plans, so now it’s time to create new ones. I specifically decided to focus on my plans post-Brandeis. Scary, I know. I dove into Hiatt’s resources and created a BOMB LinkedIn profile, drafted alternative versions of my resume for different industries and linked up with Hiatt Staff (all these are available through the Hiatt website). By working on things and preparing myself for the “real world,” I not only got excited about the future, but I also had the opportunity to reflect on my own accomplishments and skills. The process of readying myself for what comes next made me feel a lot better about what’s happening now. 

I hope you’ve found this helpful. Make sure to comment and let me know what you would like to see me cover in the coming weeks. For now, I have to go, because I’m reaching my word limit and my mom is asking me to help her sanitize our living room. 

Max LeBlanc ‘22