It’s no secret that working and studying from home is the ‘new normal,’ but how exactly do you keep things exciting and avoid the monotonous feeling of working in the same space everyday? How do you stay healthy both physically and mentally? The TC Admission Team is here to provide some tips and insight! While our office has been operating remotely for a full year, we never fail to keep things fresh and change up our day-to-day routine. 

Read on to see just how our team is navigating the daily work-from-home grind and staying healthy, too!

David Estrella, Assistant Director of Admission

A typical day for me includes working with the Education Policy & Social Analysis and Human Development Departments, and connecting with prospective students. Since the online transition, I’ve found a couple of key things to be helpful, but most importantly, keeping and following a schedule. I try to take short breaks and my lunch break at the same time every day; this way I keep my day flowing with a rhythm. I would say “get outside” as often as possible. I’m right on the edge of a nature preserve! It’s been great to explore new trails as some lead to petroglyphs from people that lived here long before settlers came. 

Perri Meeks, Assistant Director of Admission

From connecting with students to assisting them as they navigate the admission process, staying healthy and mindful is key while working from home! I would definitely recommend trying out and making different beverages–caffeinated or non-caffeinated! I recommend the classic tea or coffee option for caffeinated. For non-caffeinated, a sweet option like golden milk or hot chocolate does the trick! I find that taking time to pause and make a beverage allows me to slow down a little bit and be more mindful of the moment.

Douglas Alford, Assistant Director of Admission

Day to day, I work with prospective graduate students who have an interest in Health & Behavioral Studies. To stay focused and break up my day while working in a remote setting, I encourage you to explore new places! I try to ensure a nice change of scenery throughout my day, so I take fifteen minute walks. I frequent the High Line and other NYC spots during a typical route. I love exploring new spots throughout the city!

Ashley Blasland, Associate Director of Admission

I am fortunate to engage and interact with dynamic applicants daily, despite my online setting! I am in constant awe of our vibrant Psychology students who strive to make meaningful change in the field of mental health. With this being said, it’s important to stay focused and healthy while working from home. As I’m sure many of us have discovered, working from home means that the lines of being “off” work and “at” work can feel blurred! I have personally found that it is very tempting to allow the work day to leak into my personal time, which I recognize should be reserved for things like: guilty pleasure TV, virtual trivia nights with quarantined friends, and socially-distanced pumpkin-picking. For the last several months, I would allow my laptop screen to remain open far past dinner time, because I felt guilty closing it when I could easily answer “just one more email”! (Cut to: several hours later, dozens of emails later, a very tired Ashley!) 

I finally broke this habit when I realized it was not beneficial to my health or wellness, and I did so simply by creating a structure for myself. I have a small space in my apartment that I will only enter when I am “at work”. Similarly, I exit that space when it is time for lunch breaks or when it is time to “leave” work for the day. Although leaving work in 2021 (sadly) does not entail walking to the beloved 1 train with my wonderful colleagues, the mere act of shutting down my laptop and exiting my work space allows me to disconnect and to focus on the things that keep me fulfilled as an individual. After taking time for myself each evening, I will wake up the next morning revived and ready to tackle a new work day! 

Kyle Lindenberger, Assistant Director of Admission 

In my role as an Assistant Director of Admission for the department of Arts & Humanities, I spend my days advising and communicating with applicants, students, staff, and faculty via the phone, email, and Zoom. I also assist in supervising our fabulous student ambassadors, diversity recruitment on campus, and coordinating events within committees. On a typical work day from my virtual office, I wake up, brew some tea, and get a morning workout before I start my day. Over the course of these past few months, I’ve taken it upon myself to try new activities as much as possible. I visit Forest Hills-Corona Park where I exercise, slackline, bike, and read. When I’m inside (other than work!), I redecorate my apartment weekly and cook as much as I possibly can. I’ve discovered that I’m a much better cook than I anticipated and enjoy making myself new meals!

Tessa Minardi, Welcome Center Coordinator

I am always eager to connect with and assist prospective TC students! Despite operating in a remote setting, I’ve found that taking short breaks has been key for me. I take walks around my neighborhood most days. Some days I’ll step out at lunchtime, or I’ll take a longer walk after the workday is over. I love getting some fresh air and enjoying the beautiful spring weather! It’s great to get out of the house after spending a good portion of my day in the same spot. Sometimes I’ll change up my work station as well and move to a different room or location so I can stay focused.

Nicole Siniscalchi, Associate Director of Admission

Given my role in the Office of Admission as the Organization & Leadership departmental liaison and as our virtual events recruitment coordinator, I spend a great deal of my time connecting with students and program representatives, and working on planning initiatives to support our incoming TC students. In response, one activity that I’ve taken up lately is journaling! I am often very busy during the day and find that my mind is always racing–with ideas, memories, daily things to celebrate, as well as a host of stressors. Journaling at the end of every day has been a nice way to record some of the highlights of each day, to acknowledge what I am thankful for, and to help provide some inner peace and a forum to express my thoughts. I highly recommend it…especially in a cozy spot with your favorite hot beverage! 

Deanna Ghozati Gregory, Senior Associate Director of Admission

Whether I am working remotely with our Instructional Technology & Media students or (virtually) observing our Elementary Inclusive Education students pursue new ways to reimagine education, a change of scenery never fails in keeping my focus sharp!  My husband and I like to take daily lunchtime walks around our neighborhood. It feels great to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy a change of scenery. We also like to observe the nature and sights that surround us. Stepping away from the screen for a bit and being active energizes me!

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