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Welcome to Tra i Leoni, Mathilde Dansereau!

Making the most out of the worst

Mathilde Dansereau
Mathilde Dansereau

Msc student in AFC coming from Canada to discover the old continent. Modern explorer mostly intrigued by sustainable innovations, sociology, and international affairs.

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Reading time: 3 minutes

There is no doubt that the pandemic has impacted everyone, albeit at different levels. Whether you found yourself struggling a lot or whether you found this forced break relaxing, you have increased your adaptability skills, and this is even more remarkable among students.

What have you accomplished during your quarantine time? Have you made the most out of this pandemic? While I was trying to keep my life together, my social media were shouting about learning new skills and starting challenges of all kinds in the name of personal growth. That made me feel vertiginous at first as if I should have been worried about not doing enough. Whether people were baking bread for the first time or whether they suddenly felt the urge to pick up the ukulele, everyone was “making the most out of their spare time” and I honestly could not understand how we could make the most out of the worst. Keeping my equilibrium and staying focused on my studies were taking all my time and I did not feel like I had that “extra time” everyone seemed to have.

Psychology has shown that we are all born with a certain degree of adaptability and we are all able to work our way through uncertain situations. However, if we can partially control our capacity to adapt with our optimism and our attitude, there are limitations we cannot trespass and this level varies from soul to soul, which explains roughly why your neighbor might have found quarantine time more difficult than you or vice-versa. In fact, adaptability is not about capitalizing our time during harsh situations, but rather about keeping life alive and redefining ourselves a new normality. Therefore, the only challenge I enrolled myself in was the no-social media challenge and I stopped comparing my “quarantine performance” with others.

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I became more aware of my surroundings and found out that many people were struggling with lockdown as much as I did. If you are not used to major changes in your life, you have probably never developed your adaptability skills and it is highly probable that you were not amongst the ones who bought a bread maker back in March. Nonetheless, you had to accept the uncertainty of the foreseeable future and if that means you needed to take a step back to keep pushing forward, you are not less performant.

We are all developing our flexibility through different events in our life: moving out to a new city, starting a new job, changing college, etc. and most of the population can overcome these challenges without too much trouble. However, the pandemic forced us to all be flexible rapidly and we could not have the usual adaptation period. In my opinion, students all demonstrated an astounding sense of tenacity and courage.

For example, many exchange students had to take the crucial decision to leave their destination country or to stay away from their family. They did not have the time to list the pros and cons and think of the impacts this decision would have on their future. If they cancelled their semester, they would delayed their graduation date; if they were going home to continue their semester, they would have to take their exams independently from the time zone difference which could imply to wake up in the middle of the night. Nobody noticed the determination it took students to keep going and it was taken for granted that young adults would adapt faster and better to the unknown. While there are no clear studies showing the correlation between age and adaptability since it depends more on each individuals’ character than age, older people have more life experience and there is a greater chance they have already developed their flexibility over the past years. It should not go unnoticed that it has been a strenuous journey for students, and I applaud their commitment to roll up their sleeves and join the ZoomAcademy.

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Accordingly, I will tell you what you have accomplished during this lockdown: you have adapted yourself to the new normality. You have changed your whole routine and tried to maintain your balance. You did a 180 degrees turn and stayed focus on achieving your goals. I believe you have all learnt a new skill out of your quarantine time: adaptation skill. Go run to add it on your LinkedIn profile because you did amazing.

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Mathilde Dansereau
Mathilde Dansereau

Msc student in AFC coming from Canada to discover the old continent. Modern explorer mostly intrigued by sustainable innovations, sociology, and international affairs.

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