Separating Your Workspace from Your Living Space

By Mac Pomeroy

Pictured: Mac Pomeroy. Photo Courtesy of Mac Pomeroy

Everyday, I wake up at around 9 a.m.; oftentimes, my cat is the cause. I get up, get dressed and walk to my desk. I take my classes online. I do my classwork. I write my articles. All of this is often done without ever leaving my bedroom.

Sure, it’s easy on the not-working legs, but it also has caused a great deal of stress for me. Now, instead of being able to come home from school and relax in my own space, my room feels more like an office. No longer can I lean back and play video games. Instead, I feel guilty looking away from my computer for a moment.

I began to feel extremely stressed in my room. I’m usually a bit of a shut-in at home and spend most of my time there, but now I want to be anywhere else. I tried to spend time in my living room, kitchen, even my sister’s old room. Nowhere seemed relaxing. It felt like I was stuck in a constant loop of school. 

This is a problem I have had before. I used to do online schooling my junior and senior year of high school, and it felt the exact same way: I could never justify pausing because all of my work was right in front of me, staring me in the eyes. My work began to pile up, creating mountains that threatened to tumble down upon me.

I found myself very miserable and confused during those times. Online schooling wasn’t an ideal solution for me. I needed the space to feel free and separated from the two parts of my life, and I did not have it with online schooling.

This was never something  I intended to do again. Really, it was quite the opposite. I was ecstatic to come to college and be around people again. I looked back at my online experience as being dreadful and purely in the past.

Obviously life doesn’t agree with me.

So now I am back to my usual struggle of being completely overwhelmed. What makes online school so different? Perhaps it is the lack of structure. Or maybe I simply struggle to focus and feel on task when I am alone.

Of course, I am glad my classes are online during this time. I am blessed with it, given numerous of my friends ended up with on-campus classes. I would have been even more anxious then, worried I would be putting my dad further at risk.

Usually when I write a column like this, it ends with a piece of advice as to how to handle these sorts of situations if you find yourself in a similar one. Sadly, I have nothing to say this time. 

I have tried numerous things. I have tried to do my classes just in my sister’s room. I have tried to take designated periods to simply sit and do nothing. It just seems as though the stress won’t go away.

Perhaps this, along with many things, is simply something I will have to adjust to. Maybe time will help all fears. It just takes some hope for things to get better.