Finding a new routine
Thursday, May 7, 2020
OSU freshman Grace Voth likes routine. She lives by her day planner, making an extensive to-do list over coffee each morning. But that’s all changed.
Like countless others whose routines have been upended by the pandemic, she found herself disoriented, searching for a new routine and a sense of normalcy.
A family friend moved back to Enid from Colorado over spring break and reached out to Voth for help homeschooling her three daughters while she worked at her part-time job in the mornings.
Missing her friends and struggling with the lack of a daily routine, Voth saw it as a chance to make the most of her time at home.
“It’s a way to help outside of the house,” Voth said. “A growing experience for sure.”
Voth, an industrial engineering major, loves to teach the girls math and think of imaginative ways to perform science experiments. More than sharing her own passions, she enjoys finding creative ways to provide outlets for the girls to do what they love.
“These girls love to bake and are very crafty,” Voth said. “One day, I brought over leftover scrapbook stuff, and we made cards for an hour. We made pancakes for breakfast one Friday as a reward for a week of school. We have even made our own wildflower corsages.”
While she does her best to make sure the girls have a healthy balance of work and play, Voth has a lot of her own work to complete for school in the afternoons.
“It’s a challenge and more exhausting than I thought [to teach the girls and do my own work],” she said. “But it’s worth it.”
For Voth, teaching the girls has given rise to a new routine and provided a healthy outlet in uncertain times.
“Disruptions to our routines typically make us feel a little off-center, and it can take some time to adjust,” said Dr. Thad Leffingwell, head of OSU’s Department of Psychology. “I think it is especially a challenge now because the routines that have been disrupted are not just about tasks or schedules, but also about our social networks and connections.”
Leffingwell said connecting with others via technology or safely in person can help make life feel more normal and satisfy a need for connection.
“Finding ways to help others is always a good idea,” Leffingwell said. “Try checking in on friends or neighbors and seeing if you can run errands for them or help in some way. Those brief encounters were probably taken for granted, and now we realize what a big part of our experience they are.”
STORY BY: Kylee Sutherland | Communications Intern
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