It’s been an unprecedented year of change as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, creating a ripple effect that’s disrupted the lives of college students everywhere. Whether its your first or last year of college, the beginning of the school year is always met with a mix of emotions. Add in a global pandemic and it’s easier than ever to get caught up in the anxiety of the unknown. We’ve outlined the 8 best ways to adjust to college life during COVID.
- Maintain Structure
For many students, college is often the first real taste of independence. A time to make your own decisions, create your own plans, and set your own routine. Even if you don’t typically thrive on a strict schedule, having a routine can help keep you on task and stay motivated.
2. Be Smart, Stay Safe and Healthy
Adjusting to college life under normal circumstances can be stressful. Doing so during the uncertainty and unpredictability of a pandemic, adds a whole new layer of anxiety and confusion. No matter how chaotic your days may seem, it’s really important to take some time for yourself. Get a good night’s rest, eat right, maintain your hygiene, and take breaks from study and screen-time to go for a walk or get some fresh air.
3. Stay Organized
When it feels like the world around you is changing by the minute, you may feel like staying focused and “in the know” are nearly impossible. Do yourself a favor and find an organization technique that you can stick with. Whether it’s the use of a daily or weekly planner, a written to-do list, or using your phone or tablet to set important reminders – keeping on-top of your schedule, tasks and assignments will help you feel more in control.
4. Avoid Multi-Tasking
Multi-tasking at its core is the exact opposite of staying focused. Don’t be fooled by people who brag that they are masters of multi-tasking, because there are very few people that can multi-task successfully. Often multi-tasking is mistaken for task switching, a far less complicated, yet incredibly distracting tendency. When you really think about it, it’s pretty difficult, almost impossible to do 2 things at the same time. You can’t physically search the internet and reply to an email or text at the same exact time, but you can stop one to complete the other. True success and focus lies in the ability to block out distractions and hone in on the task at hand until it’s complete. Try focusing on a single task for 20 minutes at a time and allowing yourself short 5 minutes breaks.
5. Stay Connected & Engaged
Heading off to college can be a very social experience, a time to get to know your roommates, meet new friends and study alongside your peers. But this year particularly, college life looks a little different. With mandatory mask requirements, encouraged social distancing and online lectures – it’s easy for a person to become isolated. Taking the time to connect with family and friends, even if it’s virtually, is more important than ever.
6. Recognize that It’s Okay, Not to be Okay
You are not only navigating the new experiences that come along with college but you’re doing so during a global pandemic. Can we say, curveball? You’re in uncharted waters, and it’s okay not to be okay. If you’re feeling sad, overwhelmed or any mix of new emotions there’s lots of people who can help. Be open with your family, talk to friends or seek out an academic coach who can help ease your transition and put your mind at ease.
7. Know When it’s Time to Ask for Help
When you’re living at home, it’s hard to hide things from your parents who are always keeping tabs on you. But in college you have to look out for yourself. If you’re concerned about your grades, if you’re overwhelmed with college life, or if you’re struggling with feelings of severe anxiety, depression or sadness – it’s time to reach out to someone you trust for help and support.
8. Consider Working with an Academic Coach
Academic coaches are life-long educators and mentors who have a passion for helping students work through emotions and tackle challenges commonly associated with college life. If you find that you’re struggling to develop good study habits, time management skills, or maybe just need a little help adjusting to online learning, working with a coach can help. Learn more about academic coaching here.