How to Adjust to Campus Life being Online
Updated: Oct 28, 2020
By: Maria Giovanna Jumper
The past few weeks have been filled with changes that have disrupted the lives of students, faculty and the administration. It is hard to look at your phone, the news or your computer without having some update about the coronavirus pandemic.
The biggest disruption has been the switch to online classes for the rest of the semester. Most of the campus facilities have closed in conjunction to updates coming from the Governor of New York and the President of the United States.
The switch to online learning has been the trigger of much anxiety from many students and teachers. The students are especially worried about losing motivation to do work or accomplish the things they were hoping to accomplish this semester.
But university staff are offering tips to get everyone through, such as being sure to designate a specific work/study area in your home and to stick to your old schedule. Additionally, it is important to remember to continue using on-campus resources.
The Learning and Writing Center has transferred all of their services online for students to continue using. Meagan DeMaria, a senior English major and Writing Center tutor, said, “Both centers are increasing operations and scheduling availability so that they can accommodate an influx of new users should that be the case.”
Appointments will be held using the WCOnline interface. Small group appointments for the Learning Center will be held on goboard and other online resources. The Learning and Writing Center will also be adding some tutorials on online learning and improving time-management skills and will provide students with links to other helpful resources. The Writing Center has also been in touch with their writing assistants in order to move their work online. Writing assistants work with specific classes to help the students with their assignments.
For the duration of the semester, writing assistants will be providing online tutoring sessions. These can range from providing Google doc comments to having online video chats. This is another resource that students will be able to utilize throughout this transitional period.
To kickoff online learning for the semester, the Department of Health Outreach sponsored wellness events online. These events ranged from an “online guided meditation,” to a “workshop: coping during crisis,” to “chat & chew lunchtime hangout.” Throughout the rest of the spring semester they hope to continue having similar webinars. There are plans for the “online guided meditation” and the “chat & chew lunchtime hangout” to continue daily for the rest of the semester.
The Department of Health Outreach, and in particular Erin Furey, outreach, training and mental health promotions coordinator, offered more specific advice to students. First and foremost, they recommend being patient with yourself.
“Nobody has experienced anything like this, and this transition to online learning is very abrupt,” Furey said. “Everyone is experiencing these adjustments, so try being patient with yourself as you adapt to all of these changes.”
Additionally, they recommend creating a routine for yourself and practicing personal hygiene.
Furey said, “Anxiety rises when we don’t know what is happening or what is planned. By creating a routine and planning your day, you will be able to reduce some of that stress and anxiety. It is important to still get up and take a shower and get dressed how you would for school. Taking too long laying around in your pajamas makes you start to feel depressed.”
Students who joined the “coping with crisis” webinar were given access to an electronic
scheduling template to help them create a routine. While doing so, it’s important to limit your social media usage.
Furey said, “Reducing anxious scrolling online [is important]. Some stuff online is really negative and dark. Social media has no natural end point, the propensity to keep scrolling until you can’t scroll anymore [is great].”
With this being true there are productive ways to use social media. Try going on for 30 minutes at a time just to direct message some friends, make a post or look up stress-relieving tips. Additionally, keeping in contact with friends is extremely important, and should be a part of your routine.
Furey added, “Texting is cool and great, but video chatting allows you to see someone’s face and this is extremely important to feeling you are being social.”
Finally, Furey recommended creating boundaries. This could be with family, friends, schoolwork, etc. It is easy to feel tension with your parents when there are many adults in the same house. It is recommended that you set boundaries when you need alone time, or maybe go on a walk by yourself to still feel that same sense of freedom.
It is especially important to create boundaries with schoolwork. Furey stated, “I don’t want students to feel like they are locked to their computer.”
Set a number of hours you are going to do work and then take a break. Make sure to continue eating, sleeping and keeping to your normal self-care routines or workout routines.
For seniors, who are going through a particularly challenging time as they adjust to a last semester at Adelphi that is not what they planned, Furey recommended “reflecting on the amazing things that they have done in the past three-and-a-half years.” It is okay to internalize your feelings of sadness, but even more important to remain social with friends and reflect. She also recommends reaching out to the Counseling Center to talk through your feelings.
With all of these changes, it is important to remember that while being home you are helping to reduce the transmission of this disease.