When I used to dream about what college would be like, a pandemic was never a part of the picture. However, we now find ourselves adapting to a new, COVID-19 world. College can be difficult, and a pandemic doesn’t make it any easier. So, here are my 11 tips for surviving college during a global health crisis:
1. Treat your personal hygiene and safety as a top priority.
Our top priority is to stay on campus. Without hygiene and masking, this is impossible. So, protect yourself while protecting others. We’re all in this together!
2. Buy a LOT of masks and wear them!
Masks are a requirement and function to keep you and others safe. So, why not have some fun with them? Get creative! I have patterned my masks with leaves for fall, as well as with ghosts and candy corn for Halloween. Use the mask to express yourself and show off your personality!
3. Socially distance yourself from others when possible.
Do you know the old saying, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder?” This has never been truer. In order to keep yourself safe, make sure you’re maintain a healthy six-foot distance from others when possible.
4. Get used to virtual meetings.
For the time being, most meetings are being conducted online to reduce person-to-person contact. I am currently trying to navigate virtual interviews for dental school. If you are trying to manage interviews virtually, don’t hesitate to reach out to career services for help! They provide mock interview’s that can help you prepare for the real thing.
5. Find a close group of friends.
Having a close pod of friends is super important in order to stay happy. Make sure to be extra supportive toward one another, understanding that these are novel times and we are all adjusting in different ways.
6. Keep in touch with family for extra support and love.
Don’t hesitate to call up your family when times get tough! They want you to thrive and be successful in college. A simple FaceTime with my mom and dad always brightens my day!
7. Get outside and get active.
Make it a priority to get outside and get active. Exercise is one of the best forms of stress release. Walking, running, hiking, and socially distanced sports are all wonderful options. If you want to get out and chill out, think about taking a trip to the lake or having a hammocking session on the quad!
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Understand that it is okay to not be okay. Sometimes, the best thing to do when struggling is to reach out for help. Talk to a friend, professor, or counselor to help you through the tougher times.
9. Be smart.
We must think about the bigger picture. All of our little efforts to stay safe are keeping us on campus, able to see our friends and participate at in-person classes. Our small efforts every day, such as filling out our symptom surveys, accumulate to make our campus plan successful!
10. Be kind to yourself.
I think it is important to take time out of each day to breathe and be grateful. We are extremely lucky to be on campus right now and as a senior, I am enjoying every minute of it.
11. Have a positive mindset and go with the flow!
Having a positive mindset can make a world of difference in your mood and outlook on life. Every day brings a new challenge and it is important to be resilient and flexible when dealing with change. I find that keeping the end-goal in mind helps me to stay positive and focused throughout the semester!