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  • Mint Suetrong

Attempting to Maintain My Sanity Through Online School

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

By: Mint Suetrong, Contributing Writer

Starting 2021 off with online school is not ideal. Though I am fortunate enough to have access to technology and a supportive group of both peers and teachers which makes online school weirdly pleasant, without their warm nagging of telling me to rest, I end up getting sucked into the cycle of not doing anything else besides working and stress eating (please feel free to read more on that here). For the sake of my own eyes, my back, and my mental health would follow the inevitable fate of dwindling like the plant sitting in the corner of my room if neglected, I have decided to challenge myself by doing something different every day for this whole month. Please enjoy.

JAN 1: Drastic haircut of 12 inches. I plan to donate this to the National Cancer Institute. I am genuinely surprised that I have not gotten a concussion yet from how many times I have whipped my head around to feel how light it is. I might dye it red.

JAN 2: Made my first mocha-banana frappe that had the consistency of a Starbuck’s Frappe. A massive success, if you asked me.

JAN 3: Started reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success because I was curious about how people balanced the ‘Growth Mindset’ and the ‘Things Happen For A Reason’ mindset.

JAN 4: Got out my highlighters and started on my first page on a colouring book that I’ve had since Year 8. I am in Year 12 now. Figured I should start before I graduate.

JAN 5: Took a 30-minute nap after class. It was more like collapsing onto the floor and just laid there for a while. I only had three classes today- well, I only take three classes this year- but I felt so exhausted somehow. Power naps are a lifesaver.

JAN 6: Learned the names of all of the major bones in the human body for my upcoming anatomy class. Still need to learn the joints. [Editing Mint from the future: It is now January 9th and I have yet to start learning the joints.]

JAN 7: Worked out at a reasonable time today. Recently, I have been working out around 11-midnight, depending on the day. It was nice to start my workout at 8 today. Crab walks will always be a pain in the backside. Literally.

JAN 8: Had an intriguing late-night call with my friend. Conversations that flow seamlessly from topic to topic is always refreshing, especially when it goes from, “How do you want to die?” to “Hey, look at the headphones that [insert our friend’s name] broke.” 10/10 very wholesome. Just for context, our friend had actually snapped it in half, wires and all.

JAN 9: Laid in bed the whole day today, but tried singing this song for a bit. The title translates to ‘Shy’ in English. I remember listening to this song in my early years of primary school so it was quite a nostalgic experience if I had to be honest.

JAN 10: Stitched ‘M’, ‘IV’, and ‘XII’ onto the collar of my school shirt. Although my hair will probably cover them anyway, I can’t wait to wear them to school when we are allowed to go back in.

JAN 11: Finally learned the joints and movements for the Anatomy lesson which was on the next day. [Editing Mint from the future: I loved that class so much.]

JAN 12: Took a walk at a nearby park. The temperature went down to 17°C today. Considering that it is always above 25°C here, even on a cooler day, this was a nice change. Felt like I was in Japan.

JAN 13: 15°C today. I am freezing. Currently, I am questioning how I was able to walk around in a t-shirt and a pair of shorts at 12°C when I was living in Canada. I made cinnamon and banana pancakes for breakfast!

JAN 14: Called my close friend as we jammed to some music and did our work. Sometimes it only takes a single phone call to brighten up your day. (Also had a minor breakdown after my biology exam but ‘That's Okay’ by D.O. always makes everything better.)

JAN 15: Cooked breakfast with my mom. Little moments like these make me grateful for online school as we would normally have to leave the house before 6 to get to school on time. Waking up at 6:30 instead of 5:00 and making some banana pancakes while we sit and enjoy the chilly breeze, what more could I possibly ask for?

JAN 16: Drew something for the first time in 2 years! It was honestly so much fun. Grateful for online learning because it has given me time to put my creativity to the test.

JAN 17: Made a Malteser’s frappe because we were given a giant bag of it for New Year’s and it’s a little too sweet to eat it on its own. Got my sister’s approval for the recipe so we’re all good! :D

JAN 18: Had a rather serious conversation with my mum today. Now that I have grown a little, it feels great to share and exchange opinions with someone, especially on non-trivial topics.

JAN 19: Thoroughly enjoyed PE and Biology today. We studied the anatomy of the heart in PE and started on the human circulatory system in Biology so everything worked out perfectly. While some may find that it is a pain trying to remember all the different body parts, personally, I love the challenge and nothing beats the satisfaction of finally remembering those long, intricate names.

JAN 20: Took an hour nap on the floor. It was comfier than I thought it would be.

JAN 21: Got thoroughly surprised when I received my PE Movement Analysis homework back and found that I did not have to make any corrections, just 2 additions of one other target muscle and a synergist. I am still struggling with the technical names of these muscles though, so that is something I still need to work on!

JAN 22: Gyms reopened today so my family and I went out to exercise together in the evening. I have been consistently doing light midnight workouts and I can happily report that I did notice a difference. 2020 Mint would have been proud of 2021 Mint’s newfound consistency. Still can’t do a chin-up because I still have no arm strength whatsoever.

JAN 23: Got some ice cream with my friend and his sister that I haven’t seen in almost 2 months due to school closure. Feels amazing to have my best friend back.

JAN 24: Spent most of the afternoon attempting to sing and play the guitar. Mashed up a couple of songs together with 4 magical chords that I know how to play but do not know the names of. Songs included but not limited to: ‘Float’ by EDEN, Troye Sivan’s ‘Fools’ and eaJ x Seori- ‘It just is’ (Feat. Keshi’s Strat’). I have no clue how they work together but they just do. Like pineapple on pizza and mint chocolate ice cream. I said what I said.

JAN 25: Made banana pancakes again because they are the only things that I know how to make. Today’s was very thick, though. Like a solid inch thick. 10/10 would recommend it.

JAN 26: Got some bubble tea and jammed to One Direction songs with my sister like the early 2000’s kids that we are.

JAN 27: Had a comfortable dinner with my family and a wholesome call with my close friends. It’s easy to take one’s presence for granted, so hold them close when you still can.

If you have stuck around until the very end, thank you and congratulations. Despite the lockdown, this month passed by surprisingly quickly. A little too quickly, if I am completely honest. There were good days and there were rougher ones but what matters is that I lived through them all. That’s enough. Oftentimes, I am caught off guard by how short the period of time between sunrise and sunset is, so it was grounding to reflect on this article and remind myself that, “No, you did not waste today.” I wholeheartedly recommend you to give something like this a go.

As my form tutor frequently recites, “it’s the little things you do that keeps you sane,” and yes, I completely agree. If you are someone that gets anxious about how fast life is passing you by, I wholeheartedly recommend you to give something like this a go.

One final note: I am so proud of you. Don’t be so harsh on yourself.

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Olivia Van Siclen
Olivia Van Siclen
Apr 14, 2021

Online school is sooo hard


Apr 03, 2021

oh my gosh my mom keeps telling me to keep some kind of daily journal, i suppose this is a sign !! might give this a go :))


Abrielle Robare
Abrielle Robare
Mar 01, 2021

Love this so much! Online school has been such a drag lately - I should give this kind of project a try!


Hilary Hong
Hilary Hong
Feb 22, 2021

I'd sure give this ago!


Tamanna Gandhi
Tamanna Gandhi
Feb 19, 2021

Yes! We need to enjoy life, instead of always worrying about expectations!

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