Staying level through this Roller Coaster of a semester

    With this semester looking very different than before, it was a lot of uncharted territory for many professors, administrators, and students. Winthrop is known for our welcoming, family-like environment. Students congregating in Digs, on Scholars Walk, the bookstore… but now all of that is not the same. How do we manage this abrupt shift while keeping ourselves and minds healthy? 

    As a very outgoing people person, this has been a very taboo adjustment for me. I always look forward to socializing each day, even if that is just giving and receiving a smile to a friend when I see them on campus. However now we don’t even really know what’s going on behind their mask. During this time, relationships with one another are crucial even if that means it has to be behind a screen or with some physical distance between one another. I have found joy in picnics with friends on campus green or sitting out at the tables in the concourse between Digs and the West Center. It is okay to have social interactions in person as long as you are being responsible and following guidelines. 

The Lala

    When it comes to classes, they surely have presented a challenge. As I wrote in one of my previous articles, moving to Zoom for dance classes was difficult. In general, there seems to be a lot to keep up with. My greatest piece of advice in this situation is to stay organized. Not only do I have everything color coded, I keep my assignments and class meetings all planned out in both an agenda as well as my Google Calendar. With certain classes being fully online, fully in person, and others hybrid, keeping yourself in the know and holding yourself accountable is super important. We are all struggling and many of us may be scared to admit it, but it is perfectly okay to reach out and ask for help. When overwhelmed, try to space everything out. Write out a list: assignments due on this day, in person class this day, test on this day, and so on. For me, this visual aid does wonders for my inner anxiety and I find it to be very stress relieving. 

Woman in front of laptop with mask on Photo by Edward Jenner from Pexels

    When you aren’t able to interact with people face to face, rely on communication. How wild it is that it is considered “old school”, but write a letter to a friend or family member. Call or FaceTime in order to hear their voice and/or see their face. Keep up with social media and don’t be afraid to express how you are feeling and seek advice. Not only is college generally challenging, but being in a pandemic can have such a negative impact on what we know as the “college experience” that so widely involves the one on one interaction with other people. Socially and academically, we are having to rearrange our whole patterns of life so just know that we are all in this together, exploring this new territory, but allow yourself to find peace and joy in the little things. As tough as it is, find joy in your successes and accomodations. You’re doing amazing!!