Adulting During A Pandemic

Many of us have been stuck at home for over seven months, and are battling with our conscience to decide if it’s logical to live on or near campus during a pandemic. When weighing my options, I considered that I would be trading off seeing my family daily in order to continue living in the heart of San Jose with my friends. I personally decided to stay in our apartment through the pandemic with my roommates.

Moving into your first apartment, especially during these difficult times, can take a toll on your mental health. You begin “adulting”, and have to manage being responsible for yourself, taking online classes, managing your social life and any other activities you may be involved in.

Here are three obstacles I’ve learned to manage:

1. Money: As a college student, you somehow always find yourself broke, even when you think you’re saving. Buying groceries, ordering takeout and indulging in retail therapy all adds up! That’s why it’s important to compromise with yourself. Ask yourself: what is a necessity? For me, groceries are always necessary. I’ve found shopping at Trader Joe’s rather than eating out saves you a significant amount of money.

While you can stock up for a whole month from just one $50 trip to Trader Joe’s, remember that it’s also essential to treat yourself every so often. Try saving a little extra of your monthly budget for eating out!

2. Friendships: It’s officially time to re-evaluate the people you spend your time with. It’s essential to stick with friends that push you outside your comfort zone, make you laugh when you’re having a bad day, actively listen to you and stay by your side through all the obstacles you face in college. Time is precious, and you don’t want to spend your time with someone that doesn’t empower or support you no matter what. As someone who’s in the process of learning to “adult”, I’ve found that I have so many eggs in so many different baskets, and friendships tend to consume me. Make sure to spread the love.

While it’s important to be there for your friends and help them when they need you, remember that your mental and physical health comes first! When it comes to living with your friends, it can often be difficult if some of your roommates handle their responsibilities differently than others; everyone grows at a different pace, and you must learn to accept that. When it comes to communicating, make sure to face problems with your roommates head-on, rather than talking behind their back to your other roommates. No one wants to be living in that type of environment, so treat others how you want to be treated.

3. Online School: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, professors have had to adjust from in-person lectures and seminars to virtual lectures and a new, unfamiliar online platform for educating. While it’s easy to complain about your professor not adequately teaching you the material for exams or not meeting on Zoom, remember that they are having just as hard a time as us.

Some ways you can support yourself through online education:

  • Take extensive notes from your textbooks.
  • Utilize Quizlet to help you memorize important terms and concepts.
  • Watch educational YouTube videos! Khan Academy and Crash Course are amazing channels for content about most general ed courses.
  • Go straight to the source and attend your professor’s office hours for one on one help.
  • Get help from SJSU’s online tutoring hub.

There are resources out there, so make sure to use them if you’re struggling or need a little extra support. Remember that it is okay to struggle with online classes and to ask for help, even if you don’t see an immediate solution. Communicate with your professor if you’re not understanding the material or need a little extra time to complete an assignment; some professors understand how difficult the situation is and are willing to give extensions.

Being an adult is hard, especially during a global pandemic. But you got this! Share your “adulting” experiences with us, and tag us @HerCampusSJSU on Twitter and Instagram!