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Remote possibilities

School of Graduate Studies checks in with Kelly MacDonald

Student Life

By Ashley Hurley

The School of Graduate Studies reached out to several graduate students recently to find out how they are handling the transition to remote learning.

How has their respective research and graduate program been affected? What are their self-care routines? How are they are staying connected with their colleagues, supervisors, family and friends? Read on to meet our third graduate student profile and stay tuned for more in the weeks to come!

Kelly MacDonald, master of science, biology

“As a grad student it can be really hard to keep to a schedule, which is why the current pandemic was a difficult transition for me and a lot of fellow students.

Personally, I keep my routine similar to “pre-COVID” times, though I admit that sometimes my lunch breaks are much longer than I normally would take at campus.

I actually work for less hours during the day than before, but I’m still happy with the progress I’m making. Every day I try to Skype at least one friend or family member, and I continue to have regular weekly meetings with my supervisors.

I find going outside every day, be it for a walk, run or just a few minutes, really helps! These are strange times, so I think the best thing to do is to adjust and to be flexible.

You don’t need to work 9-5 if that doesn’t suit you, and forcing yourself to work when you’re not working can actually be counter-productive.

Working from home, though extremely tough at times, gives us the opportunities to experiment with different work paces and schedules, and finally to separate ourselves from the classic, inflexible ways of learning and working.”

This is the third of seven graduate student profiles that will be published in the Gazette on Wednesdays and Fridays during the next three weeks. 

Visit the Resources for Graduate Students page for helpful information regarding health and wellness, academic continuity, student support and more.


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