LANCE THE LION
SMHS Mascot & Guest King’s Page Staff Writer
Look To Lance is a monthly advice column featured in The King’s Page. All questions and answers are 100% anonymous. For advice on friendships, relationships, school, food, fashion, or anything else, drop a question in Lance’s askbox at thekingspage.com.
Lancelot the Lion, the official SMHS mascot. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
I’m a freshman, and I am feeling so lonely during quarantine. Distance learning has made it really hard for me to make friends. When I try to start a conversation in the breakout rooms, it is awkward and usually the people in my groups already know each other, so I’m left out. How do I get to know other people and have fun with them in this virtual world?
Blue in Quarantine
Hey there B,
I’ve definitely been there. It can be frustrating to try and socialize over a video call—people can mute and unmute at the wrong times, disappear, or even plain tune you out! Try instead to text people in your classes with whom you have interacted at least a couple times before, so it’s not out of the blue. Don’t be afraid to be the one doing the inviting to virtual events, especially with new friendships. I know, it’s hard to reach out first, but you can do it! If you’re looking for ideas of what to do in an online hangout, here are a few: virtual Netflix party, game night (especially with silly Kahoots!), or even ordering takeout from the same restaurant and hanging out and eating “together” over video chat. There are plenty of ways to form a tight bond with your friends even if you aren’t physically with each other, and I know you’ll find one that works for you. I hope you do have fun!
Senioritis? More like junioritis. I’m so burnt out from Zoom that I can’t get anything done. But I really need to get good grades this year—my parents and teachers are always saying it’s the most important one of my high school experience. How can I stay focused and motivated during online school?
Tired of The Screen
Hey there T,
Sure can, my junior friend! I’m well aware of how stressful everything going on in the world is right now, and on top of that, schoolwork is still as rigorous as usual at SMHS. In order not to get lost in the ocean of assignments and deadlines, here are a few recommendations that I have for you.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule. I recommend putting all your due dates in some sort of planner or calendar. It can be a physical one, if you prefer, or you can use myHomework or Google Calendar (both are available on Self Service on your school iPad, if you haven’t downloaded them already). Since you are an upperclassman, it is likely that you’re very busy, and having everything at a glance will do wonders for your peace of mind and ability to juggle so many things at once. And as an added bonus, the reminders that these online planners come with will ensure you’ll never miss an assignment or event.
- If you need help, ask for it. You probably already know this from in-person school, but never be afraid to ask questions or give a wrong answer in class. It can be a great opportunity for you to learn what you haven’t quite mastered yet before you’re tested on it. Participating in class, especially in distance learning, will not only make you stand out as a dedicated student in your classes, but can actually boost your GPA, as some teachers will actually make it a part of your grade. There is also a helpful app called Paper (you may have already heard about it from teachers) that provides 24/7 help with homework and classwork for free—be sure to check it out if you need it.
- Recharge yourself, too. There is no doubt in my mind that you need to keep your devices charged in order to be ready to show up for your classes and complete your work. But it’s easy to forget that your body and brain also need recharging, just as your phone, your tablet, or your computer do. Turn off your screens as soon as you can before you go to sleep so that you don’t have trouble sleeping. Try to walk away from them at different times during the day, especially when you get out of school for the day or are in between classes. Whether you’re the type to sit and do nothing, grab a snack, or have a mini dance party, any solace from screens will refresh your perspective and help you regain your stamina. Hope this helps!
Being on Zoom all day really makes me look like a zombie. I really want to keep my camera on for class, but I always end up turning it off because I’m embarrassed about how tired and washed out I look. Not to mention I have some serious mask-ne. Is there a way for me to look better on Zoom without going out and buying a bunch of fancy equipment?
Hey there Z,
Yes, there is, and not to worry, you probably won’t have to spend a dime. Make sure, first of all, that you utilize the “touch up appearance” feature to your advantage. It can really brighten up your face. Speaking of brightening, choose an area with good lighting to Zoom from. If you’re sitting in the dark, it’s easy to hide tiredness or acne, but then your beautiful face won’t be noticed either! Instead, try to use a subtle concealer to cover any dark circles or blemishes you might have. In addition, make sure your camera is clean, so that you don’t have any weird marks on your face that distract from what you have to say. Keep up with your personal hygiene and make sure to put on a shirt (at the minimum), and you’ll be all good. Now go turn on your camera and dazzle them like the royalty you are!