During lockdown, our Vollies have been sharing stories about how they're coping. By encouraging, supporting and inspiring each other, they are keeping our community connected and strong.

Ash Lukman

Hey everyone, hope all are keeping well! I know that we are all experiencing a difficult situation, but this has not stopped me from what I have been doing. In fact, I have learnt to be more productive and learnt heaps of new skills thus taking the maximum utilisation of this opportunity.

Apart from just studying and working from home, I have educated myself to cooking a variety of foods, reading books, staying fit and healthy by exercising every day and creating promotional videos for clubs I am part of in the University.

Furthermore, I have also started to refurbish my room to make it look like a brand-new place (how exciting) thus learning new skills such as painting, carpentering, etc. I hope everyone is trying different things and I can’t wait to hear your story.

 Ash Lukman

Bouakeo Sivilay

Things can be challenging when it comes to self-isolating at home. Even so it also gives me an opportunity to sharpen my cooking skills and be creative.

When some ingredients are in short supply at supermarkets, an alternative becomes more reasonable. Apart from its stunning scenery and unique laneways, Melbourne is such a culturally diverse city where a wide range of ingredients can be found at local stores. I was really lucky to get sufficient supply to make home-cooked meals and dessert. To name a few, fried tofu with spicy tomato sauce, a hot tasting bamboo soup made of extracts from Yanang leaves or scientifically known as Tiliacora triandra and palm seed dessert with glass jelly and pearl barley are what I never get bored of eating. These are the taste of home that I longed to have for quite some time.

 Bouakeo Sivilay

Laura Venuto

During this difficult time we are going through I have been doing everything to keep myself occupied and continue my normal routine. Luckily I am still able to work, but when at home I keep my mind occupied by exercising, playing games, doing sketches and paintings and of course reading. This has been the perfect opportunity for me to go through all the books that I have on my shelves and read those that I haven’t got the chance to explore. I have even had the time to type in all the books I have in a spreadsheet on my laptop, which helps me keeps track of the series of books I have, the author they belong to, how many books are in a series and which books that I am missing. I am currently reading 'Miss Peregrines Peculiar Children' series by Ransom Riggs and I am up to the second novel. Reading has been a crucial and inspiring aspect of my life and what I enjoy about them the most is being able to distract yourself from your surroundings and explore new and undiscovered worlds, giving you a sense of wild imagination.

If you want the chance to not think about the current situation that is going on now, the best way to do that is pick up a book and let your imagination take you on a thrilling journey. Otherwise, keep yourselves occupied and look after yourselves. Hope to see you all soon.

 Laura Venuto

Leslie Hernandez

This year has been a challenging year for us. There are so many things that we want to do but cannot do because of our current situation. I am glad that I am part of this mailing list as I have acquired ideas to become more productive whilst staying at home.

Playing ukulele or singing is something I always do to cope up with my boredom. It also helps me to stay calm and focus whilst doing my online courses. Currently, I am learning how to play a guitar again through YouTube tutorials, it has been six years since the last time I played it.

To keep my skills up to date, I have been doing some short business, professional development, and technology courses at LinkedIn Learning. I would highly recommend this to my fellow students as you will receive a certificate upon completion.

Lastly, I also keep in touch with my family and friends. I really miss them, and I hope that everything will get back to normal soon. Stay safe everyone!

 Leslie Hernandez

More Vollie stories

Cynthia Thomaz

Lockdown can be a real-life challenge. While I don’t spend time on commuting and with other tasks I used to do in my ‘normal life’, it seems I considerably increased the number of hours I stay in front of the computer doing new tasks. Zoom classes, Zoom meetings, Zoom workshops, and to relax, more Zoom parties. It is easy to forget that we must take care of our health and find ways to alleviate all the stress and uncertainty surrounding us.

How do I deal with quarantine? I obligate myself to take at least 30 minutes of Zumba online classes every day. I love Zumba, it is a fun and addicting activity that you can do in your bedroom, living room, and you also have the benefit that nobody is checking on your moves or dancing skills (unless you decide to dance on the balcony and challenge your neighbours – just an idea). At the end of the online class, I always feel energized and positive to go back to my Zoom life hahaha. Small things like this can make all the difference in your wellbeing. So, get up and Zumba on!!!

 Kittianant Chaipanakiat with friends at a virtual party

Hi Vollies, I hope that everyone is going okay. My name is Kit, and most of my friends call me Kit Kat. In this pandemic situation, my favourite activity is joining an online meeting.

My friends and I agreed to keep checking on each other. We normally hang out together on a nice day. However, now we can't go out of our places. Therefore, we throw virtual parties with social distancing practice. I think it helps us, an extrovert gang, to be not so lonely.

Believe me, I miss you all Vollies.

 Eunike Gegung playing eukelele

It is quite normal to feel overwhelmed in this current situation, not knowing when the isolation will end.

Attempting to cope with the social distancing mode, I try to explore many things that I used to think would be difficult to enjoy because of time constraints living as a student prior to 'quarantine life'. The activities are meditation, cooking, baking and practicing ukulele (beginner).

In celebrating one of my housemates’ birthday, I baked a birthday cake that surprised them because I did it for the first time. I also cook my local cuisines such as rendang (Indonesian spicy meat dish), sautéed chayote, sautéed bitter gourd, noodles, fried rice, spicy boiled fish, and other cuisines that my mother used to cook at home.

I found these activities are beneficial for helping me to stay productive and sane within the unprecedented circumstance at the moment.

 Nardo Wai with a model aeroplane

During the COVID-19 outbreak, there is so much information every day, and the internet is overwhelmed with news and stories that I avoid watching to keep a better mood.

Crafting models is something I love to do occasionally. Even the process can be very time consuming, it really helps me to adjust the lockdown period, since it requires a high level of concentration on handling and paying extra attention to the details, which distracts me from the internet. In addition, these will easily get my hands dirty once I start, so I need to avoid touch other things including my phone and computer.

After I finished my model, I started picking up my sketching practice again, so I can handcraft some postcards and send them to my friends around the world. Want to receive a personal custom postcard from me? Feel free to send me your postal address and we will stay connected in a classic way.

 Playing on Wii

Hi everyone, hope you are all coping well. I know some of you will possibly have found this lockdown quite as tough as I have with not being able to see family (we video call every day using all the funny filters!), my inbox is open for all of you lovelies. If I am honest it took me a little while to not feel quite as overwhelmed! Despite all the things going on there have been a few added bonuses that I would like to share with you.

Apart from trying to get my head around online classes, working nights, and experimenting with my many makeup palettes, a lot has happened. My partner Sam has been home more, and we have been able to spend more time together, usually by the time he was home from work I would be going to work. We have spent our time together going on short walks on the river just behind us, attempting to teach me how to cook, but mostly playing Mario Kart on the Wii, I think he might start refusing to play as I keep beating him! Haha. Oh and we are looking at adopting a puppy!

Wishing you all well, I miss you all! Can’t wait to see you all when we are back volunteering at events together.

 Santosh Reddy

I hope everyone is staying safe at home during this lockdown.

I know it’s a challenging life for everyone but I hope it will become normal soon. During this lockdown I am spending most of my time at University with special permission given by University authorities. As a researcher at University, my life is a little bit different than other students but I am taking COVID-19 precautions ad social distancing measures in University premises and outside as well.

I reckon everyone is having fun in the leisure times but during my leisure time, I am helping some students on their birthdays. I am a Student Ambassador at Beyond Melbourne Ambassadors Project (BMAP) group. We have fun every weekend through online platform such as playing online games and spending a great time with each other via Zoom platform.

How do I deal with quarantine? I love helping others during this quarantine period. Therefore, I was thinking what I can do for my friends as a Student Ambassador. I took an initiative as a sponsor for each of my friend’s birthday in the BMAP group. We started this Birthday surprise from 18th April and many more to go. We sent a birthday cake and candles by ordering online in the morning time and they will pick up their cake and other things by keeping safe and maintain social distance. People were really surprised and felt so emotional and happy because in our group, all are international students and I know everyone feel alone and miss their family during this hard time. As I know, everyone is experiencing a financial situation but at least they will be happy on their birthdays. By doing this, at least I feel like my BMAP family and I are not alone.

Stay safe and stay healthy everyone. #WEAREAWAY#BUTNOTOURMEMORIES

 Jack and Chau with their chilli plants

Hi everyone, we hope you are all wonderful!

Unlike everyone's amazing innovative and cool hobbies, we took a step back in time to become farmers! Yes, farming is our new hobby. We love watching these little guys grow as we take care of them everyday. They bring happiness and freshness to us during these difficult times. Our little chili pot is particularly growing strong, hopefully in the near future we can start to harvest them. Can't wait till then.

We are also growing garlic, coriander and everlasting (Chau's favourite flower). When our miniature garden bears fruits, we would love to share it with everyone!

Love from the Vollies Power Couple.


Coping with the lockdown is worse when you’re away from your family. Different people cope in different ways. My way of staying strong emotionally is by talking to my family who are back in Mauritius.

My brother has recently sent me some photos that brought back the memories of the good days when we used to spend time together and also during my childhood.

The lockdown has also enabled me to talk to them more often compared to before. My parents FaceTime me every day to share their lovely recipes. I try very hard to re-enact them but it’s a fact that parents cook the best food.

It’s always good to check in with your family back home especially during this difficult time. Stay safe and stay home!

 Arnab Ghosh Roy with his son

Life in a lockdown can be a struggle. It is important to balance my studies with other activities to keep myself motivated and look after my mental health.

I finished reading the book Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton. I picked up that book last year and I never got the time to finish it. I felt pretty great finishing my book and it motivated me to start another one. The second one is in my mother tongue East-West: Purbo-Paschim (Book 1) by Sunil Gangopadhyay and the book is written in Bengali - honestly, reading it after 14 years is simply a great opportunity for me.

I did a digital detox: spending more time with family, talking to my partner, mom and my cousin and brother. Life was a real digital detox. I start standing in the supermarket queue to buy a newspaper and reading a real printed paper every day. I try to put my phone on silent for 3-4 hours a day and spend the time with myself. It feels good.

My main job: nappy changing and washing milk bottles for my son. This is the new role I found myself best fitted and enjoyed the most; thus, COVID allows me to be a great dad. In this lockdown period I had also written a letter to my son for his 6 month birthday which probably he will read when he will be grown up where I had describe about his family background and culture to connect him with his roots.

Got addicted to Netflix: I am usually busy with work most of my week, and I don’t get a lot of time to start a new show. Now I'm watching ‘BETTER CALL SAUL’. It’s addictive!

Lockdown is so good that it’s given me time to call people who I have lost touch with due to time difference, busy schedule or laziness.

Believed it or not, I start cooking by helping my mom while she is cooking and got very good feedback for my breakfast menus – a bread with smashed avos, butter-fried mushroom and a scoop of sour cream. That’s all about me and my lockdown!!!

 Renea McCarthy with Lucy the puppy

I have been lucky to be able to continue to both study and work during the pandemic. With both study and working moving online, I have been able to focus more on both and have been able to remove the need to travel between both parts of my life – I simply log out of uni and log into my work systems.

The isolation has been frustrating, I will not lie about that. I am a social person and need that contact with others. I have been lucky to spend this time with family and am seeing more of my nephew and niece than ever before.

During this time, my mum has added a new member to the family. Vollies, please meet Her Royal Cuteness – Lucy.

 Vishwa Mehta

Hello Jumble Jellies and Fumble Bellies! I know you are not channelized with energy any more. But hey, the best thing is that we are in a period of time where technology has evolved to the extent that we can literally connect with ANYONE in this world. That's precisely what I have done during this period. I have been able to reach out to nearly 10k people through my network in just one month. Yep as crazy as it sounds! I have impacted, inspired and motivated numerous people through my content on LinkedIn and connected with many of them through Zoom call as well.

Why? Well, I believe, ''We as humans, often need someone to just assure that everything will be FINE in future. I love to be that voice. I believe someone out there who is just few steps behind my journey, looking for a helping hand to get him/her through. I love to be that grip.''

Your turn, how does your DIGITAL LIFE look like, my friend?

Resuree Wijesundera's origami.

Online uni is challenging (not a fan), but it’s the right thing to do, so I’m taking it easy one step at a time. Besides uni I have been doing a lot of stuff, just to keep myself occupied. First, I started channeling my inner MasterChef skills by experimenting with any recipe I can get my hands on. Made my first decorated cake (very proud of myself). Now, I’m learning how to do origami, which is pretty fun and time consuming but I absolutely love it and the end results are rewarding. Also, I highly recommend listening to murder podcasts; they are pretty interesting. 

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. Can't wait for the next Vollies event together. With love, Res.

 Gurleen Gogia

Hey my lovely VU people, I have been quite busy with my uni classes and my placement online, but at the end of the day I feel productive after counselling high school students especially in these challenging times, and I feel fortunate enough to have this opportunity as a mental health counsellor.

But besides this, I have learnt a lot of things which I never got time to do before...hhaaaaha. I tried my hand at cooking (including butter chicken, manchurian and chocolate cake with icing), and I was happy when my first time cooking gave good results.

Whenever I get time I try watching some motivational TEDx videos or read articles online, and I spent most of my nights on Netflix actually (it worked as a stress buster after my assignment submissions) . Besides this, I took out time to talk to my family and friends, as I missed them the most during this time. I hope that things get better soon and I can socialize with my friends and also I'm waiting to meet all my Vollies team and have loads of fun.

Stay safe everyone and enjoy this time.

 Clarissa Teixeira's lemon cake

Social distancing has been a challenge but it is also a good time for self reflection and growth. I have been coping by remaining positive, praying and practising mindfulness. Sometimes we worry so much about the future that we forget to live in the present.

I’ve also keep in touch with family and friends online. My sister, my cousin and I live in different cities so we’ve decided to create a WhatsApp group where we share funny videos, our frustrations, happiness and we have even watched series/movies together. My sister got me addicted to a reality show during the quarantine and we used to vote online for our favourite participant to win. And guess what! She won. Go Thelminha!

Accomplishment: I baked a coconut cake for the first time the other day.

Keep safe everyone.

 Zoe Wright

This year has definitely been a roller-coaster. I have mainly been on Social Work placement which was almost completed before COVID restriction. During lockdown my partner and I have taken the time to learn new cooking skills and video chatting with our families. For me I have enjoyed my time social distancing as it has allowed me to start projects that I have wanted to do for ages; for example I have wanted to learn how to use video editing software.

Learning online has been challenging however it was for a reason, and as Ishie works in age care it has meant we have to be really careful with the pandemic. Hopefully we are all able to get back on campus in the second half of the year.

 Zamira Rahman

This quarantine has been a challenge for many of us from getting used to working from home to studying online. To make the most of my time, I’ve been doing a lot of activities that I enjoyed with mental health and self-care being my priorities.

Reading: What I looked forward to everyday to empower myself with knowledge. It sure has been a great feeling to pick up those incomplete books and being determined to read more. My recent favourite book is Jacinda Arden: A New Kind of Leader. The best part for me has been reading stories to my younger siblings.

Short online courses: To continue to develop my skills and knowledge, I’ve been taking short courses in business, technology and creative skills development with Lynda.com. It has been a great learning experience for me as I can apply those skills to real work in the future.

Cooking and baking: I’ve really enjoyed cooking our favourite family meals. Trying new recipes to cook and bake has given me a great feeling of accomplishment. A memorable day for me was our Eid celebration where my sisters and I baked biscuits, cupcakes, muffins and cakes to celebrate this special day.

Playing volleyball: This sport has been my motivation to stay physically active during this time. Before the lockdown I attended weekly gym sessions to practice with my team members. With the gyms closed, I used my backyard to practice my skills and played with my siblings. We may have been a nuisance to my neighbours with our ball constantly going to their backyard but hopefully they understand the situation.

The list continues from having long phone conversations with family and friends, art and creativity, watching Netflix to daily walks to catch the beautiful sunsets. I hope everyone has been well and staying safe.

 Roshika Fernando

At the very beginning of the lockdown, it was quite difficult for me to be isolated but as time passed I found many ways to keep myself occupied.

Apart from the online studies, I got a chance to spend time with my doggie 'Rocco' where I used to go for long walks and enjoy the beautiful neighbourhood, breathe in the fresh air and embrace nature by making sure that I address social distancing rules. Moreover, I got a chance to spend quality time with my family. For myself, the lockdown allowed me to identify myself and enjoy the simplest yet valuable pleasures of life.

 Sarah Fahey

Hello Everyone! This week I finished my final social work placement while in lockdown (Woo! Celebrations! Those 500 hours were challenging!) During lockdown and while on placement, I made sure to spend some time to explore new hobbies and also revisit some old ones:

Art: I have always loved art and being crafty. I don’t have much experience in digital art, so during lockdown I have been watching tutorials and practicing illustrating on the iPad using Procreate. It is a lot of fun! I did a drawing of my friend’s dog to celebrate his 3rd “Gotcha” day after being adopted!

Animal Crossing: I am loving this game, it’s a great way for me to switch off and escape from reality a bit after a stressful day. I love talking to my villagers, catching bugs and decorating my island. My goal is to get my island rating to five stars!

Bike riding: Going to the gym was one of my favourite parts of my daily routine. My favourites are strength training and group cycling classes. I noticed quickly how not going to gym affected my mood despite following workout videos on YouTube. My partner and I found some second-hand bikes on Facebook Marketplace and we have started riding our bikes around the neighbourhood (I’m still a bit nervous to ride on the road!). Moving my body feels great and getting out of the house to be in the fresh air and sunshine is such a mood booster! My goal is to ride along the bike path from Springvale to Carnegie and back!

And life update - Introducing HUGO! In May we welcomed little Hugo into our family. He is a 3-month-old Cocker Spaniel and loves to fetch and snuggle. Hugo has three feline siblings who he is loving to get to know and play with!

 Sean Spralja

Whilst the quarantine was an extremely challenging time for all of us, it was an opportunity to refresh, recharge and look to the future. Over the self-isolation period I was lucky enough to be able to continue (and finish) my VU placement with Melbourne Sports Institute by completing projects remotely for them, in addition to my online studies.

To keep my physical fitness up, I began running a few days a week, which I’ve continued as restrictions have lifted. The lifting of restrictions has meant community sport has returned in a limited form, meaning I’ve been able to get back on the tennis court in both a playing and coaching capacity.

The silver lining of this pandemic has been an appreciation for the simple pleasures of life; we were confined to the four walls of our home for a couple of months which has ensured we don’t take our lives for granted.

 Nayanthi Jayawickrama

At first lockdown is a daunting experience as uni is the place where I always enjoy the most with studies, volunteering experiences and my friends. For me, it took me a little bit of time to adjust to the situation but now I feel like it was one of the best experiences in my life to know myself more and to find out what I love doing other than hanging out with my friends.

I was doing many experiments such as cooking (cooking is not for me), singing (very bad singer), dancing and many more. I found out I love to be with nature because it feels so relaxing. So I develop a habit of going for a walk in the morning which improves my inner wellbeing and also it helps me stay fit.

Apart from that, I was thinking more about grooming because most of the time I stayed inside. I watched many YouTube videos and found many interesting facts about grooming and personality development. I cut my hair and coloured it as well. Ha ha.

I think it is not what’s happening that's important; I believe that what we are gonna do about it is the important thing. If you can get to see the good side of everything happening and take advantage of it, life is more beautiful and exciting.

 Paige Leary

Despite how challenging this time in lockdown has been, I have used it to really focus on self-care and to do things that previously I may not have had time for; as well as looking after my new gorgeous pup, Theo, who has taken up majority of my time and heart in the last 5 weeks of him being in my life.

Undoubtedly, this has been an incredibly challenging and unprecedented time, and that is why I have found it is so important to remain connected to support networks. So, in this time I have been continuously calling friends and family to check in and socialise. In fact, my best friend and I always wanted to create earrings, but we never seemed to have the time. So, we used this time to do it together…online.

To do so I bought polymer clay from Spotlight and some earring hooks and set out on a creative and exciting new journey. My friend and I created polymer clay designs at home and sent them to each other. This ignited my passion further, and so we used this experience to share tips and tricks (such as warming the clay prior) to improve. As a pre-service teacher I decided to use the clay to also make beads, which will be used to create a lanyard for the future.

I am definitely not an expert and need a lot more tricks and practice, but I am grateful for the time I got to connect with friends virtually to celebrate shared passions and create new things. Especially because this made me diverge from baking edible goods, which is something I have definitely been practising in this time as well.

 Ritu Vazirani

Hey my name is Ritu and I’ll be sharing what I’ve been doing during this tough time to stay busy! I’ve been fortunate enough to work at a school for the first round of remote learning, working with primary school students and helping them with school work. Currently I’m working the school holidays helping run a holiday care program where we engage students in fun activities and themed days such as pizza day, Minecraft day, pajama day and many more cool themes. I love working with children and creating fun memories for them that they can remember during this stressful time for their parents and families.

 Shehroz Obaid

Did quarantine put you in a position where you have to push beyond your comfort zone?

Hi my name is Shehroz Obaid and I’m one of the students at VU studying Diploma of Information Technology leading to Bachelor of Information Technology. As we are all experiencing the current pandemic in different ways and at different points, this story is not to shame, but rather to encourage you to find ways to keep yourself busy during this hard time.

One of the realms I focus on is personal reflection and growth. For many of us, a new, renewed or strengthened interest in self-care and wellness, due to the current situation, has led to a bit of self-discovery. During this time I start focusing on my physical appearance and body along with my studies. I learned that staying active and exercising is an important part of keeping both your body and your mind healthy. As quarantine time has been extended it can be extremely mentally disturbing to be stuck inside. It is beneficial to keep ourselves busy whether it is exercising or with co-curricular activities.

 Erin Pratt

My name is Erin. I’m a second year Bachelor of Psychological Studies student. I am also a mature age student and mum to an 11 month old boy Jimmy. I completed my Vollies' training back in February, and I was so excited to get involved! However, the universe had other plans!

As we know, our reality changed dramatically when lockdown began in March. For so many of us, lockdown has been a unique contrast of isolation and togetherness, distance and closeness, intensity and calm (and wine). I have been forced to get creative with my childcare and studying habits. I have found myself studying late at night in bed (in the dark) as Jimmy snores quietly next to me. Or in the car, Jimmy asleep in his carseat, laptop on my knee; surely creating untold ergonomic issues for myself. Jimmy has also become my audience as I recite notes ahead of tests. Hopefully I have been able to give his vocabulary a head start and not bore him to death. Jimmy also loves an appearance in our Zoom classrooms, meeting my peers and lecturers, an opportunity he would not otherwise get.

Despite sometimes having challenging days juggling work, study, baby and all the normal household stuff, I try to remind myself of the positives. My family is healthy, I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to study in isolation, I have the most beautiful little boy, we have a roof over our heads and we are part of an inclusive and supportive community in the inner west. I have appreciated how much effort the VU community (the board and staff) has made to remain connected with students throughout this experience. Despite some of the minor challenges associated with online study ('you're on mute!'), I have always felt supported and still feel very much a part of the dynamic VU community. Bring on semester 2!

 Rohit Kumar

Hope everyone is fit and fine in this hard time. I do not know how the majority people took this pandemic. I took it as an opportunity as I got a huge time for myself.

I learnt many things in this time and got very impressive results. In the initial phase of this pandemic, I was very scared. I shared my problems with my brother, and at that time I was feeling very low. My brother taught me how to handle this situation. He gave me two tasks to do: one is meditation and the other is sun salutation. These tasks changed my life completely. Meditation keeps my mind and emotion stable and meanwhile sun salutation gives me energy. That’s why I think this is a beautiful opportunity.

 Tara Moore

The challenges brought to our lives in 2020 are not hard to find, especially in the wake of a second lockdown for Victoria. We have all had to adjust ourselves to a new way of living, including the discovery of new hobbies and finding new ways to express our love for those we care about.

The transition to online learning was particularly difficult for me because I have the attention span of a very drunk goldfish. Fortunately, I seem to be adapting and with the support of friends and family, it hasn’t taken me too long to create new learning habits.

The time that I am not studying is mostly spent taking long walks along the river (or seaside), embroidering, reading and cooking. In these photos I was attempting to make Gozleme. I think it turned out well – it tasted yummy at least.

In times such as these, it becomes even more important to value the small things and have enough radical optimism to recognise the good in the worst situations. We need to have faith that the hardships we are experiencing are only temporary, but the lessons that we are being taught will stay with us forever. Keep smiling!!

 Devraj Singh practising freestyle football

Hello Vollies! Before lockdown, we all were busy with our university schedules and jobs. However, COVID-19 has changed it and hence our schedule has changed drastically.

To avoid sitting still and to keep active, I visit a park near my house to practise freestyle football - my all-time favorite sport. It is the best way not only to keep myself fit and healthy but also helps me to improve my mental health. It is a unique sport meant for all those who are fond of soccer and want to try something different with ball control and creativity.

However, I believe that a person who can maintain a perfect balance between recreational activities and studies is unbeatable, and thus after getting selected for the Global Victoria program, I am balancing both of my favorite things and really enjoying this lockdown.

 Tanveer Singh

Lockdown happened about a month after I landed in Melbourne and was still trying to overcome my fascination for this city. It took me a while to get used to some things. Back home, I used to enjoy driving different vehicles and taking them on some difficult terrains. So I decided to utilise this time in learning how to drive in Australia. Of course I knew the basics; I just needed some hands-on experience on road and I got ample of it. After getting the hang of it I decided to try out the off road terrains when I got a chance to go countryside. I went around trying the variety of roads and terrains.

I look forward to getting my Victorian license once this whole pandemic scare is over.

Fouzia Islam

Hello everyone! I'm Fouzia, a third year social work student. The biggest challenge for all of us this year was to adapt to and accept the new ways of 2020, due to the pandemic. I too have been staying home, mostly busy with online classes and assessments. It's a quite hectic experience, lemme tell you, especially living with a full family rushing to sit in front of their laptops with breakfast in hand from 9 o'clock sharp in the morning, all ready to start their days. Oh poor router, he has it the worst one would say!

Apart from that, I've been binge watching dramas - K-dramas, C-dramas, Taiwanese dramas and Thai dramas with a failed attempt to learn all of these languages at once. It's fun being able to use different expressions using different languages. I've also been drawing, I am not good at it, but that didn’t stop me from randomly drawing my favourite characters from Naruto using a pen only in my notebook. Not all days are the same, some days are bright and eventful, and others are just gloomy and long. Music has been a constant companion at all times.

I also realised the importance of our mental health as it gets affected even by the slightest changes in our daily routine and expectations. I feel like we've been negotiating with our heart and mind a lot this year. So along with physical activities, it's necessary to prioritise the little things that can positively affect our mental state, no?