Action 7-8: Self-Rescue Guide for Online Classes 2020

Stand at the time frame

ten years later

My confusion

I have found that the difficulties I encountered after 25 years of life began to increase. I could admit that my ability to solve some problems has improved. But at the same time, it seems that I gradually lose confidence in life and motivation for the future. 

I knew all of our class members have been going through a difficult time when we are taking online classes. For me, at the very beginning of this semester I have huge passion about our classes and believe studying can change my life.  But as time went by, I felt like it is really difficult for me to catch the pace of our class. And it was becoming increasingly impossible for me to concentrate on studying and homework. I have been surrounded by feelings of self-blame and self-doubt. For a long time, until now I am still trapped in this kind of emptiness, anxiety and helplessness. 

Where my confusion come out

It was also in this semester; I began my online psychological counseling. As a beginner of counseling, the content of it is very extensive, including willpower instinct, intimate relationship, schools of psychology and so on. And my counselor used Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to deconstruct my confusion that I met when I was studying, which I think made a lot of sense. 

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been widely used in different fields, and I know it has been challenged all the time after it was initially put forward. But I still think it is quite reasonable in explaining the hierarchy of needs of most people. 

In Maslow’s later clarification, he stated that the deficiency needs must not be 100 percent met before the higher needs emerges. But we habitually directed towards the needs that we have yet to satisfy. Thereby affecting us to realizing higher level of needs. 

Take myself for example. 

Self-actualization needs is one of the higher needs that people have. And for me, studying in our program is realizing my self-actualization needs because I am doing things that I really want to do and try to realize the self-fulfillment by studying. But I have to admit, there are several basic needs that have not been satisfied. So my desire to achieve higher needs is more or less blocked.

The third level of needs are love and belonging needs or social needs. This is the needs for us to communicate and have relationship with others. It is about family, friends and intimate relationships.  But for me, every day I stay in my home alone. I do not have any friends that I can meet in this city. And because of the limitation of online classes, I also lost the touch with our classmates. Therefore, that is the level of needs that is not met, so I always feel isolated and depressed. 

In the fourth level of esteem needs, Maslow made two categories of it, which are our desire for reputation and our self-respect. I believe that for most people, there is a difference between the strongness and weakness of these two needs. For me, self-respect will take up a larger portion, but I also value a lot of other people’s views of me. And I think these two needs interact with each other. But during the online classes period, it is hard for me to get feedback of my works from other classmates and professors. So it would be not easy to get encouragement and compliment and my self-confidence would be challenged or if I got a powerful ego so i do not need other people’s views. 

Those explanation help me acknowledge why and how my confusion came out. 

In fact, what psychological counseling can help me is not to heal my wounds, nor to change some of my own defects, but to teach me how to look at the problems correctly, including telling me how and why these problems arise. The aim and the function of counseling is not to make me feel much better but is to make me feel not that worse. We could not foresee what will happen in the future, therefore we could not solve the future problems using current methods. But the thing we can manage ourselves currently, is our emotion. That is the most important part I think I have learned about psychological counseling.

My Actions

In the beginning, based on my trust of psychological counseling, I was thinking about to design an online planform for students who take online classes to gather together. They can both exchange their online class experience and talk about their difficulties and confusion to professional psychological counselors. I thought this kind of planform could gather a group of students who feel alone during the online semester and make them not feel lost. 

However, when I began to build this planform, I found that this is just a normal idea that everyone could think of. But how true or effective it could be?

So I changed my way of thinking. I think as an outcome of an action, if it expresses its personal style more, maybe it will have a stronger appeal. So, I abandoned my former idea, and started to do something that explicit more about “myself”.  

Therefore, I began to use visual to express my confusion when I have difficulties, and try to use my own words to explain how to deal with those difficulties. 

I hope that this is not a bible to solve the confusion caused by online classes, but it can be used as a direct and strong way to let everyone know that they can look at the difficulties in a relax way. This is one of the reason why I did not choose my original thought to build a online psychological counseling planform, because I think it was too serious. 

Actually I think the process of making the booklet is relaxed. I even found that using mixed material to draw and collage itself is a stress relieving thing. 

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