Your favourite houseplant reveals how you are coping with remote learning

The good thing about quarantine is you might actually remember to take care of your plants, but what about taking care of yourself?

ILLUSTRATION: Shaheen Virk / The Peak

By: Charlotte Gravert, SFU Student

If you are a fellow plant parent, you are likely to have this one green friend that gets a little extra attention than its siblings (and maybe your actual siblings, too). We bet that by telling us which one, we can guess how you are spending remote learning. 

Succulent: The second you heard school would be remote, you immediately packed your toothbrush and laptop and took off. You found a cheap room in a house full of fellow escapists. Now, you’re probably working a mediocre part-time job or you are lucky to still have student support from daddy Trudeau — either way, you are loving remote learning. Your beloved succulent is either with you or in temporary care of a friend; neither the plant nor you are particularly picky and would be thriving in all kinds of conditions. 

Cacti: It took you a hot second to notice when the lockdown measures were rolled out, as most of your friends and interactions took place on Discord before it was mainstream. You are happy staying on Burnaby Mountain, or wherever you had previously set up your extensive computer set. Social distancing isn’t so bad — for your cacti or yourself. A safe distance away from a stranger’s touch has always been your vibe. Same for remote learning: your abilities to avoid speaking in Zoom calls matches the strength of your internet connection.

Cut Flowers: When lockdown hit and school went online, you thrived in online classes with the help of Dalgona coffee and homemade bread. You love change, but after a while all remotely taught courses began to blend into one. No new TikTok trends caught your eye like they used to. When you heard that remote learning would continue, you either left for home or gave your room a big makeover (cottagecore or dark academia themed). Just like cut flowers need to be changed out after a week or so, you are probably reading this while planning to bleach your hair or get a new piercing. 

Bonsai or Orchid: When school went online, you really struggled getting up and going in the mornings with no reason to get dressed and ready. Fourth day sweatpants from Old Navy were the new Givenchy. But after a couple of rough first weeks, your drive for self-improvement blossomed. All that money saved on SFU parking went right to your Sephora order. Just like a bonsai or orchid, you avoid travels and sudden changes. Who wants to carry their 50-piece The Ordinary collection around, anyway? Plus, now you’re looking at wearing those pants for two days straight max.

Indoor Palm: Just like your indoor palm, you started turning your leaves brown due to a lack of social interactions, AKA your personal source of sunshine. Whether you are an athlete and miss the gyms, or a former library rat or coffeeshop learner, remote learning took away your happy spots. Like a palm pushed away from the window into a dark corner, you hate it all and can’t wait to get back to how things were.

The tree outside your family home: When lockdown offered (or forced) us to return to our families, you couldn’t wait to put your roots back into your home soil. If you never left your house, you’d feel blessed because Zoom calls mean less driving around your hometown and risking pulling up to a red light next to your high school math teacher. And as much as you love living it up at Hotel Mama, you sometimes wonder if the constant nagging, lack of privacy, and slow internet is truly the most fertile ground for your sprouting.