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Adapting to Change During COVID-19

We all go through changes in our lives. For better or worse, life is ever-changing, evolving, and growing. With that, we have the choice to change, evolve, and grow with it. This year has brought us all face to face with that uncomfortable reality. Now, as the semester begins, there are so many challenges and differences that we are forced to come to terms with. And while not easy by any means, there are small things we can all do to make this odd transition more comfortable and less stressful. Below, I go through some specific things that may be causing your stresses this fall and some ways to deal with them.

Online Classes

As a senior myself, I was very disappointed to find out that 4 out of my 5 classes will be virtual for the entire semester. Although I did complain and whine about it for a minute, I realized the hidden positives of this seemingly saddening discovery. One being, I can tune in to my Zoom meeting with my PJs on and no makeup. Also, since all of my online classes are meeting at a set time, I still have a structure to my day, which I very much enjoy.

If you struggle with online classes, I highly suggest interacting a lot during the Zoom class. When the professor asks a question, speak up! I find it way easier to do it from my bed than in a classroom with all eyes on me. This will get you comfortable talking to others and let your professor see you are actively participating in this class, even throughout these changes.

Speaking of professors, office hours are still a thing! Even though they are through Zoom, make time to talk to your professors one on one about any questions or concerns you have regarding the class or overall semester. This is all new for them too, and they will more than likely be able to help you with any problems you have.

Maskin' it Up!

Masks are another new adjustment we all must make to our daily lives. We never leave the house without our wallet and phone, and now we have to add the mask to that list. By now, we all know how crucial it is for us to look out for ourselves and others by wearing a mask when we go anywhere, especially on a college campus. To make wearing a mask more fun and exciting, you can do what I did and get one in every color to match every outfit! Everyone is selling them now, even if you want to wear a designer brand. Or if you wanna rep the school! However you wear 'em, just make sure you do!

Socializing

This can seem stressful and daunting in itself, especially if you are new to this college. The most important thing to remember here is that you are not alone and we are all in the same boat. CofC has made it clear that there will be serious repercussions for any social gatherings that exceed the set limit, so don’t take that chance. We all want the same things here, which is to stay healthy and stay on campus. And although socializing this semester won’t look like the way we are used to, it can still be fun!

If you’re a returning student this semester, text all your friends and set up group video chats weekly. t always makes me feel better to share my struggles with others and hear theirs. Also, look into the clubs CofC is offering this semester; although meetings will most likely be virtual, it is still a way to meet new faces and stay active on campus. 

Time Management

One thing that I know I was worried about as this school year approached is time management. With everything being online, it can seem more difficult to keep everything straight in my head. I highly suggest treating your classes just like in-person ones, getting a planner, and writing all scheduled meetings and classes out. We are in full control of how we succeed.

Caring for Yourself

All in all, as different as this semester is, it’s important to take a step back and not be too hard on yourself. Take extra care of yourself, and give credit for adjusting and thriving in a new setting. This is unchartered territory for all of us, and we are doing the best that we can.

To make virtual learning better for me, I’ve invested in a pair of blue light glasses to protect my eyes. Staring at a screen all day definitely takes its toll, so to combat that I’ve also decided that at least twice a week I will go somewhere outside my apartment to do homework, to get the feel of a different environment and enjoy the fresh air.

And to try to manage stress and keep my mental health in check this year, I have started dedicating time to mindfulness routines and meditation. Each person's care routine looks a little different. But I hope that whatever you do, this semester will bring you nothing but health, positivity, and success!

Hi, my name is Samantha! I am a senior here at the College of Charleston and am majoring in psychology. My interests include music, beauty, fitness, good food, and the city of Charleston!
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