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College and Covid-19: Coping With The New Normal 

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College and Covid-19…. I remember in January when I started my semester I was so excited. I could not wait to get back into the classroom and start learning more about what I love to do. What I am most passionate about in life. Then Covid-19 struck and all of a sudden everything was different. No, my life did not stop. I still had to finish my classes, however, that looked so different. Now I was working online with groups at home. Things where so much harder. I just wanted the semester to be over. It was hard, but we got through it. 

Then I, like most college students, spent most of the summer worrying about what comes next. How is school going to be? Covid-19 is clearly not over. What are the colleges expectations? How is staying going to be different this time around? Will I make it through the semester that is totally virtual? 

These are just some of the anxieties that I find myself thinking about as the semester grows near. All I want is to be able to be successful. With the college I attend going full virtual this semester. I worry that I will have a harder time. I have had to make changes to my semester, because when I signed up for classes in march I thought that we would be back to normal, most of the county did. So the class that I knew I needed to take in person are the ones that I dropped. Now that things look a little more doable in my situation I am hoping that this semester will be okay. However, I think that professors and colleges need to remember. 

1 Some of us need to be in a classroom:

I have done a lot of online classes. However, I have to tell you that there is nothing like being in a classroom and having that support. With College and Covid-19, please give students some flexibility this semester as it is very different getting used to online classes. No this is not going to be the semester that we all hoped for. Next semester may look very similar so lets learn together and try to make this work for everyone. I realize that this is the safest thing for everyone and I will be trying my hardest to keep up with the ever changing new lifestyle that we all find ourselves thrust into.

2. School is not my whole life:

This is an important time to remember that we all need to take a look at our mental health. In order to work hard to make all of the new ways of life work I am going to need to be able to give myself a break. Just remember that when you are assigning assignments. No, this is not the only class that I am taking. I probably have three others and I am working because some of us have to work to keep their lives going. This is a new way of life for all of us and if you can be understanding I can be too. 

3. I will remember that this is not the way you wanted the semester to be either:

know that there where some classes that I signed up for that were already online. However, there were a lot of them that I had intentionally decided that I needed to be in the classroom for. I know that you signed up to teach this class that I needed at a specific time and that you hoped to do just that. However, with college and Covid-19, we all find ourselves in this weird time that we cannot do that just right now. So I will remember that this is not the way you thought you where going to teach. Along with the fact that this virtual world maybe all new for you, or for this class that you have been teaching for years.  I promise to give you grace as well, because well we are all in this together.

No, this is not how I thought I would be going back to school. I thought I would be weighted down with my backpack. And I thought that I would be walking up flights of stairs because well I hate elevators and who doesnt need the exercise. I thought that I would be able to sit in the library with my books up for hours and get back to some sense of normal. However, that is not how this semester is going to go. If you are scared you are not alone. However, remember you can do this. We are all in this together and lets make this an awesome semester. I believe that we can do this by working hard and showing kindness and grace around everything that has become our new normal.  


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