By Winnie Oon
Since the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020, Malaysians have been facing challenges that can be overwhelming and stressful. The on-and-off working-from-home routine has induced anxiety and frustration among adults, not to mention the feeling of isolation and loneliness that might be experienced by students who have not returned to campus for almost one year.
Han Chiang University College of Communication’s (HCUC), Education Counsellor Department organised a webinar, titled “Saving HanChiangers From Pandemic Blues” on 6 May 2021, targeting year-one students from all schools. The webinar aimed to eradicate the negative emotions of Han Chiang students who were tired of studying online, especially the newcomers who had never experienced campus life before, by providing them an opportunity to connect with their friends.
Mr. Eric Ooi, lecturer cum counsellor at HCUC also the speaker of “Saving HanChiangers From Pandemic Blues” webinar kicked off the talk with his humorous introduction. His speech was also entertaining with the intention to embrace participants in a relaxing ambience.
“We wish to introduce the key adaptation and discuss the coping measures that could help students go through this hard time. That’s why this webinar can be said to function as a basic platform to welcome these new students,” said Eric to HCUC news reporter.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. When participants were asked to voice out their hardest ‘blues’ during the pandemic, most mentioned that their struggles are difficulties in meeting their friends and the increasing hours spent on assignments, proving that the previous statement is relatively true.
Eric agreed that the lack of activities will definitely contribute to a passive lifestyle. However, there is a way to help students in overcoming their struggles.
“When students put hope as they anticipate potential activities once the pandemic is over, they stand a better chance to overcome this particular lonely feeling,” Eric claimed.
On top of that, as a university college that prioritises the students’ mental health above everything, HCUC is always ready to assist students who face difficulties amidst the pandemic wholeheartedly.
“The student services and the counselling unit, which represent the university college, promise to provide necessary assistance when the need arises,” said Eric.
After an hour and a half, the webinar finally ended with an interactive Kahoot quiz which allowed students to interact with their friends despite the geographical distance. The webinar was deemed a successful one as students seemed to enjoy the session with active responses and participation.
With the hope to benefit students, Eric said he is keen to organise more of such events as long as the situation permits.
“Embrace the situation as a form of balance. We get to experience academic sessions online while waiting for face-to-face sessions to take place as soon as the situation is under control,” said Eric, ending the fruitful session.