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ISHCMC Inquirer: Introspection, As the World Slows...


Streets empty.


The roar of motors and engines fall silent as the world comes to a halt. The leaves rustle gently with the passing wind and the skies darken. Not a person is in sight.


Social quarantine.


As the world slowed and closed upon itself in the form of social distancing and lockdowns, people all over the world reacted in different ways. Some experienced feelings of isolation as gatherings with friends and family were no longer possible, others were instead burnt-out and overwhelmed as they found themselves living with and in-contact with family, friends and relatives for irregularly extended amounts of time.


For those of us attending ISHCMC, Vietnam, in addition to such emotional confusion, we also found ourselves immersed, somewhat unwillingly, in online schooling taking place in the form of long class calls and copious amounts of school work. A struggle between the need to wake oneself up early for school and the desire to simply, Screw-it, and heal one’s sleep deprivation was ever present. And for those who managed to overcome the first barrier of wakefulness found themselves plagued by the presence of a comfy bed, tuckered into the small corner of one’s room, inviting one to simply, lie back down and yield to the softness of the mattress and sheets. But regardless, the large majority of us found ourselves with more time on our hands than we knew what to do with.


And the world noticed.


Social media in all forms were filled with ‘self-care’ tips as posts urged people to “Learn a new skill” “Take up a new hobby,” or even, “Finish that project you had always wanted to!” One post I saw even audaciously suggested that, ‘There is no excuse for anyone to not make an improvement to their lives in some way during this time.”


Hyperproductivity is one of the biggest issues I believe is present in our world today. In a fast-paced world, one is expected to produce results week after week, after week. Constant improvement was the goal all should strive for, whether this may be in academics, in extracurriculars, in the self. And if one wasn’t actively working towards this great goal, it was expected for one to know where they are going, how they are to achieve this, and by when.


And, don’t get me wrong, I am not discounting the importance of improvement. In fact, one could almost safely say all of what we enjoy in our lives, from appliances to educational systems, are far from its original, underlying forms and concepts. However, what I wish to stress upon is the need for rest. Having lived life in a hyperproductive world, I eventually reached a point where I began to experience guilt over choosing to take a break, and I am certain I am not the only one either. This article is here to remind you that it IS okay to take a break! Life is a pretty-darn long journey, and so it is important to learn to take care of yourself every step of the way.


And what might that entail?


One of the best pieces of advice I have come across entails setting habits … to take time off and relax! This might be the Saturday morning dedicated to catching up with your favorite Netflix shows, or, arranging weekly Friday evenings to spend time with friends -or your favorite book of course! Even better, this may even be a dedication to work no later than 8pm every night. Naturally, this may take some time, and I’m definitely not expecting each and every one of you to come back the next day with a detailed schedule, that would simply be propagating, once more, the idea of hyperproductivity, of needing to get somewhere and get something done.


Take your time. Do nothing, if you wish to. Be forgiving of whatever mental state you may feel ‘stuck’ in and know that where you are now will not be where you end-up or remain in the next week, month, or years. And above all, for those of you who are in the mix of a complete slump and a complete panic, take a deep breath, and know that there is always tomorrow.


What is the ISHCMC Inquirer?

The ISHCMC Inquirer is a well-established Creativity and Service group for students from grades 6 to 12. Its goal as an after-school SA/CAS group is to keep the ISHCMC community informed with interesting, age-appropriate articles and encourage students’ passion for journalism and the development of writing and designing skills. This year, we made the decision to move our magazine to a website, which eliminates printing costs and is more accessible and environmentally-friendly. To find out more, click here.


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