As my first semester of Junior year at Spelman College comes to a close, I can proudly say that I survived. While the first full virtual semester since we’ve been in the Covid-19 pandemic tested my mental and physical health, I finally made it through. And it wasn’t easy.
With the semester being shortened, it often felt like professors were overloading us with assignments in a shorter amount of time. Many students had to balance their academic responsibilities with jobs, organizations, extracurricular activities and their personal life, all while coping with the harsh reality that they were losing time and memories due to the pandemic. To try and reduce the amount of stress I had during this virtual fall semester, I found there were certain things I could do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are five ways that college and high school students stay sane whilst learning in a pandemic.
Find an outlet for you to relieve stress
Personally, practicing yoga and meditation has been very helpful in getting my mind off of all the work I may have to do and instead turn my focus inward. I particularly enjoy the self-growth and improvement aspects of practicing yoga. I currently am doing a 30-day home challenge with a YouTube account named, “Yoga with Adrienne” and have been enjoying every second of it. Doing yoga allows me to improve my flexibility and can also be a decent workout. After yoga, I usually meditate to the 528HZ frequency, also known as the Love Frequency. This frequency helps promote positivity and manifest all things good in your life.
2. Keep a planner or calendar
Many other students and I have observed that virtual learning has made us more forgetful when it comes to knowing what assignments to turn in. A lot of the time, professors will fail to mention an upcoming assignment and the students will forget to look at the syllabus after the first week. This results in a lot of scrambling at the end of the semester and late work. The best way to keep track of all your assignments, class meetings, club meetings, and anything else going on in a busy schedule is to keep a planner or calendar. And actually use it. Using the calendar in my phone has helped me in staying organized this semester.
3. Invest in a therapist
I am a huge advocate of therapy, which is an unfortunate taboo in the black community. Having a reliable therapist who is able to help me navigate life during these peculiar times has kept my head screwed on straight more than once. It is common for some people to be wary of therapy and have misconceptions about its benefits. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed as a student and just need someone to talk to who isn’t bias or have preconceived notions of you, a therapist or counselor may be extremely helpful. If you are nervous about taking that step, talk to people you trust or other people who are advocates of therapy about making the decision.
4. Ask your professors for grace if you’re feeling overwhelmed
We all know that feeling when we mentally or physically just cannot complete something on time and feel suffocated by the amount of responsibility on our shoulders. It’s important to communicate with your professors about what is going on and if you need any extensions on your assignments. Professors are more likely to give you grace if you visit during their office hours and build a meaningful relationship with them during this pandemic.
5. Take breaks
Whether it’s a 30-minute cat nap or a brief Netflix show intermission, you need to integrate breaks in your day that allows you to focus on something other than school. I personally like napping or working out to break up my day and not go hours staring at a screen. Taking breaks may give you anxiety because you feel like you should be doing something, but they are necessary for maintaining a healthy mindset. Be kind to yourself and reward yourself at least once a day for all the hard work you do!