Stress creeps upon us at the worst of times. It was the visionary artist K. Perry (2014) that prophetically said, “they ask you how you are and you just have to say that you’re fine when you’re not really fine but you just can’t get into it because they would never understand.” These are the emotionally heavy words that echo the sombre mood of many students, as their return to campus is clouded by approaching tests and assignments.
It hardly felt like many of us were able to enjoy the events on offer last week. For students running clubs stalls, it was a hectic week, having to take time out of their schedule after already attending the virtual expo (Parsons A.M, 2021). For those of you that did – thank you. Our first years were truly lucky to have you donate your time to recreate the welcome experience they deserved.
Meanwhile, for those poor folk stuck referencing their assignments already, we hope you’re still feeling a sense of fulfillment being back around people. Whether it’s the refound sense of comradery, regained feeling of schedule or increased smoking and drug use (Espad Group, 2016), finally returning to campus sees benefits for us all. Of course, touch wood you’re not reading this back in lockdown.
Given we’ve all spent considerable time in our homes, many people we’ve talked to have shared the feeling of claustrophobia being around so many fellow students again (People Brian has talked to, 2021). For Brian, stepping off the bus Monday morning and being immediately engulfed by a swarm of people, he had to refresh his bearings of where he was again. If this is reflective of how you’re feeling being back, then here are some top tips on how you can reduce your social anxiety.
Stay Underground. Many of the students will be swarming Symonds St, so if you want to stay out of sight, go low. You can get from Engineering to Arts without stepping onto Symonds at all, so use the underpasses and you’ll reduce the amount of time you spend dodging crowds.
Phone Conversation. You’re in a hurry and too busy to talk – people make way! Don’t worry if you have anyone on the other end or not.
Just Don’t Show Up. This one will take a few weeks to feel natural, but we’re sure you’ll get there. Those lecture recordings will go up soon enough.
Hit the body with a tremendous amount of light (Trump, 2020). Whether it’s ultraviolet or a very powerful light, this will cure your social anxiety in less than a minute.
Hopefully, these tips help calm your nerves as we’re thrown back into the large pool of congregating students. But for the most part, we can agree this is an overwhelming positive to see students back again.
hEncEForTH, all there’s left to say from us is go well in the deep blue sea! As the visionary K. Perry (2010) said, “baby you’re a firework!” So come on let your colours burst.
Eda Tang (she/her) and Brian Gu (he/him)
Co-Editors of Craccum 2021
N.B: Eda would like it known that the APA referencing in this editorial is terrible, and any marker’s comments should be directed to Brian specifically.
Espad Group (2016). European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs.
Parsons, A.M (2021). Virtual Clubs Expo Attracts Students Despite Lockdown. Retrieved from URL: http://www.craccum.co.nz/?p=7535
People Brian has talked to (2021). Conversations. Retrieved not last minute from Brian’s memory.
Perry, K (2014). You just have to say that you’re fine (ORIGINAL). Retrieved from URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PdXIHGvMpk
Perry, K (2010). Firework. Retrieved from URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGJuMBdaqIw
Trump, D (2020). White House, Washington DC, USA. Coronavirus Press Briefing.