With the recent university, job and other major closings due to COVID-19, most of us are experiencing a difficult transition during this time. We have seniors missing out on the most memorable parts of their last semester, students being forced out of their housing into homes where it may not be the best conditions mentally and being forced to adjust to online classes.
The biggest concern I’ve been heard from students is adapting to having most of your time spent at home. At school, we had many places on campus at which we could focus and take advantage of our freedom. That might not be the case for everyone going back home. Some of us may come from toxic environments that can affect us mentally and physically. We might not have that space to focus and study.
Studying away from the relationships we made at college might be taking a huge toll on some of us. Not having that daily connection will start to catch up to you, even if you’re an introvert. These factors make it harder for us to just jump into online classes.
Of course, social distance doesn’t just affect students; we have families that may be experiencing the effects as well, such as sudden job loss, or having their hours cut back from work. Some of us may also have younger siblings that are also missing out on their education, which may have resulted in your parents or even you, being forced to remember division problems, the periodic table, all of the U.S presidents and become their teacher yourselves.
Of course, there’s been plenty of resources presented to us, such as school districts offering free meals, universities making adjustments to grading and offering technology, companies offering free Wi-Fi, etc. It still may not be enough but it’s small actions such as those that might help you take a little stress off.
I also want to encourage everyone to remember this is only temporary; we’re finding out new information every day. Everyone is suffering a battle right now, including your professors and other classmates who are also trying to adjust to these new changes.
Some tips that might be of help to you are: Continue to communicate with your friends, professors, or anyone you’ve talked to before, it helps to know you’re not in this alone and you have people to support you. Find a space in your house to have alone time at least once a day. This could even include sitting in your front porch or even taking a walk, being cooped up in a house all day with the same people will start to get to you. Take a break from social media once in a while, even though this may be your main entertainment during this time, it’s healthy to give your brain and soul a break from it all and find something that distracts you. One last tip, this may be easier said than done, but develop a plan for when everything is over, utilize this time to focus on your goals, such as saving money and developing a budget, virtual career fairs are also available, start a project.
There will be days where it won’t be easy, but remember you survived all of your worst days so far, and you will get through this. Always continue to ask for help when you need it. A Voice at The Table is always here to listen and will continue to voice your opinion and share valuable resources and tips to help everyone during this time.
Najah Hendricks is a third-year Social Work major, Youth Empowerment & Urban Studies Minor. Nh871270@wcupa.