The Gustavian Weekly

Searching for structure in a chaotic world | The Gustavian Weekly

By Emily Seppelt - Opinion Columnist | March 25, 2020 | Opinion

a designated workspace is helpful for learning at home.

a designated workspace is helpful for learning at home.

The past week for college students across the country has been stressful to say the least – within the span of just a few days we went from just washing our hands more often to having the rest of the semester move online and moving off of campus.
These high-speed changes are jarring and difficult to process, and each students experience vary wildly. While some families are understanding of our loss, other students are left feeling alone in their grief while their family tells them to be happy that they’re home. Other students don’t have any family to go home to or weren’t able to make it home in time before travel bans were in place.
Where do we go from here? How can we accept the loss of our spring semester and possibly more of our college experience? How can we make plans for the future when all of our plans and structures have been disrupted? These are questions that every college student has been asking themselves over the past week.
Now that we are all forced to be at home or someplace else safe, adjusting to taking college level classes online and staying on top of our work is going to be a challenge. One step that I have taken at home to adjust is to create a dedicated working space in my room that I will use to work on my schoolwork. This place could be anywhere in the house, as long as you can focus there and actually be productive.
I have also created a daily schedule for myself with the information that I have been given by my professors as to how my classes will be set up. Because I am stuck at home, I made sure to allot time that is dedicated to both being productive and as well as time to relax.
When working from home, it is important to take breaks and make sure you aren’t stressing yourself out by over or under working. Making sure to get fresh air outside, whether that be just sitting outside for a minute or taking your dog on a walk, it can help you to escape your house and get out.
Having some of your favorite things around may also help. It is important to recognize that while we are still doing schoolwork for the rest of the semester, this time has been very stressful and draining on us all. Allowing yourself a favorite treat while doing your work or simply taking a break to do something to enjoy can help to make this transition less overwhelming.
The loss of my friends and the overall campus community is one that I am going to grieve in these next two months, as I am sure other students are. One way that I have coped with missing these people is to schedule daily or weekly video chats with my friends. I also plan to reach out to my study buddies from each of my classes to study and/or work on schoolwork with them over video chat.
Having a conversation with your family or the people that you are living with is also vital. Making sure that you are all aware of their schedules can help to prevent distractions when you are attending class over video call or working on something important. Knowing where other people like to work in your home and setting boundaries will lead to less anger and conflict over time.
Trying to keep as much as your routine as possible from when you were at college can help to distract you from the fact that you are forced to be at home. The little things like having lunch with the same people (virtually) can help to lift your spirits and make you both laugh a little over the absurdity of the whole situation.
Navigating through this crisis is trying for everyone, and the best thing that we can do is support each other, accept where we are in our lives and look forward to a time where we can all be together on campus again. Simply taking the next step and keeping a positive outlook will get us through this time of sadness.

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