My name is Xiaojuan Kang (Michelle). I study Human Resources Management at McGill’s School of Continuing Studies, and I want to write something about my learning journey over this past semester. 

I enrolled in the Human Resources Management in January. I was full of enthusiasm, and passionate about this new program. At the beginning, I learned in campus classrooms and made every effort to study for my classes. However, all of a sudden, Coronavirus happened. The whole world started to talk about a pandemic, and we faced months of lockdowns. 

During the Coronavirus lockdown I continued to study, but the pandemic really affected me. At the beginning, every morning I would read Coronavirus news. The curve for infected people appeared to go straight up every day, and it seemed like the end of the world was coming. Focusing became a problem as my mind was full of thoughts of COVID-19 when I was studying. Sometimes, my thoughts seemed frozen. In order to improve my situation, I made a new schedule and I made a plan to turn my fear into positive thinking. 

First, I practiced positive thinking over the course of 21 days. After practicing, my brain focused more on optimistic thinking instead of the negatives. For example, instead of giving in to fear of the pandemic, I emphasized protecting myself from the virus. Also, I practiced gratitude daily, writing down what I was grateful for, or using social media to help me keep it up. Although Coronavirus still exists, it does not affect my everyday life in the same way anymore. 

Another helpful technique for me was to enjoy family time – the pandemic has presented us with a unique time to spend with our family members. Playing with my kids, making a good meal for my family, saying a warm word to my partner, making plans for my future… All of these things can help keep stress away. After doing these things, I feel that I was happier than before. 

Finally, I connected with friends, extended family, and classmates by reaching out to them with social media – keeping in touch with the people in my life. I appreciate the people that stayed connected with me during the pandemic, and their presence brought warmth to my life. As we approach the fall semester, Coronavirus is still around. However, I can deal with it in a positive way, and I have less fear than before. I hope that everyone can work towards a normal and happy life during these times! 

– Michelle