During the COVID- 19 lockdown at home studying, I had often thought back to it. Especially in those moments that I felt the academic pressure anxiety running through my veins. My crying bathroom in the University Library (UB) Singel where I went to when everything was just a little bit too much too handle.
This is my fifth year of studying, so the corona online studying period is something that I see as just a phase in my time as a student. But nevertheless, did these years bring much difference in studying, living your life, and, therefore, emotion regulation with it.
In my pre-covid bachelor yeas, I spent much time in the UB Singel, mainly since it motivates you to be around other students. It is more social to talk to people. It brings you another atmosphere than the place you live, sleeps and eat in.
However, sometimes, the library could be an overwhelming place for me. I can precisely remember those moments when I looked at my laptop screen. Seeing all the essay, exam and other weird studying deadlines popping op on my Canvas page. While all the students around me were working hard like their lives depended on it.
Those moments made my academic pressure anxiety run through my veins, sometimes to a level that I could not hold my tears back. My solution? Walking down the stairs, towards the ground floor, and just around the corner somewhere, you have a little hidden toilet. I would calm, go inside, take a deep breath and just let my emotions flow through me like a wave hitting the bench. Then, with a maximum of twenty minutes, I would walk out again like nothing had happened. Take the stairs back to the third floor, and blend me into the studying student group. Going on with what I was doing.
And yes – I missed using the ‘crying toilet’ in the UB quite a lot during the covid lockdowns. However, crying on your own toilet where you live hits different. It does not feel like your little secret or your twenty minutes of escape from being a student with high academic pressure to PERFORM rather than enjoy studying – especially in those exam weeks.
Therefore, I am more than happy writing this in the UB Singel, with the sun shining on my face on the third floor. There is no need to worry or have anxiety now – I passed the first semester and the last corona regulations will be lifted next week. Most importantly, I have been studying on campus for half a year now. I must say, nothing is as good for your emotion regulation as separating your personal from your studying/working life and having different toilets to cry on when stuff just gets a little bit too overwhelming.