To College Students During COVID-19
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
I've learned a lot while being in college.
Honestly, I've learned about being an adult the most. There are deadlines and meetings and surprises around every corner. There's work and there's school.. family and friends. There's balance. There's prioritizing. There's multi-tasking.
I know that this is a tough time for everyone, but we (college students) are SWAMPED right now. It's like having to build a hut before the sun goes down because you've just landed on a stranded on island... that's infested with ants. Imagine that. We're having to stay focused in the midst of a pandemic. It's chaos. We literally have several papers, tests, projects, discussions, ZOOM classes due every day for many different classes. While focusing on this, we hear elected officials in the background talking about how the death rate went up 10% overnight. This may all sound ridiculous and whiny to others, but I get it. I'm a college student. We are all hanging on by a thread. This. is Tough.
So what can we do to make sure that we don't lose ourselves during this time?
This is really difficult for everyone. Emotions are high regardless of your age, socioeconomic status, or job title. You're probably back home with your family and lets face it, at this point you're ready to get back to the college life. Embrace the now. I know it's boring and not nearly as free, but every moment that passes is gone. You will never be able to get that back. This period of time (however long it may be) is to be valued. When I say "Embrace the now", I don't just mean the good parts of the now. Embrace the boredom. Embrace the loneliness. Embrace annoyance that you may feel from your family members. Embrace your feelings during this time. Allow yourself to feel all of the things. Process them. Learn from them. It's also important to embrace the people around you during this time. When is the last time you didn't have to worry about getting called in to work because Lazy Linda called in AGAIN? When is the last time you, all of your siblings, and your parents were together for several days at a time with no interruptions? This time is different from holidays. Your boyfriend/girlfriend isn't there. Your aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents aren't there. Not to be a downer, but this may be the last time that your family will ever get to spend quality time as intimate as this together. Hey college student, embrace.
2. Do Yourself a Favor
I know you have deadlines. I know you probably submitted something (or things if you're me) late. I know you want to take a nap.. but college. Do yourself a favor. Don't be so hard on yourself. You're doing the best that you can and I am so proud of you. I get it. It's nearly impossible to focus on one thing at a time right now and you're drowning in the endless online schoolwork madness, but just take a moment. Do at least one thing every day that you genuinely enjoy. Do some yoga, bake some cookies, plant some flowers, write a song, dance. You deserve it. Prioritize and see what can wait (See our video on making a block schedule). Do yourself a favor and eat three real meals a day (now THAT is a challenge). All of these small things will go a really long way when it comes to your mental health. I mean it and I will say it again. You're doing the best you can and I am so VERY proud of you.
3. Stay Connected
There are three types people that you need to stay connected to during this time. Stay connected to other college students, stay connected to people who support you, and stay connected to a Mental Health Professional. I don't know about you, but I have had moments during this quarantine that I feel so alone. Staying connected to college students will help you to feel normal. It's simple. College students relate to college students. I don't think that there is one college student right now that is not being bombarded with emails from their professors. Just having someone to relate to during this time is super critical. Stay connected with your friends. Talk to them on a regular basis. They get you right now. Stay connected with people who support you. These are the people that don't understand, but they are rooting for you. This is your family or people in your community.. maybe from your church. Sometimes we just need someone to tells that they're proud of us or praying for us. Staying connected to Mental Health Professionals is more important than you may know. These are people literally trained to understand you. They'll understand all of the deep things you feel that other people just don't understand. Start to make your mental health a priority during this time.
My name is Bianca and I'm honestly just a college student who gets it. I don't have any fancy titles or letters after my name. I just get it. I know that it is hard. I know that you are tired. I know that this is the worst semester ever.
I also know that you can do this. I know that people care about you. I know that you matter. I know that you are not alone. I know that your mental health is important. I know that I am proud of you (did I already say that?). Don't give up. You'll be so proud of yourself when you look back at this moment and realize that you did it. You're doing it.
If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts, please feel free to reach out to us here at Woods Counseling Services. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention line and speak with a counselor.
Woods Counseling Services: 337-853-2561
National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255