Need tips for students during COVID-19? Check out this month's handy college and university survival guide to learn how to face the school year during a pandemic.
As 2020 has roared on, college students are now preparing to go back for the fall semester. It will no doubt be the most unique fall semester to take place on college campuses in a long time.
The ongoing global pandemic has changed all of our lives and forced everyone to adapt. Returning college and university students must do the same if they are to get the most out of their education.
College is often said to be the most fun part of a young person’s life. You don’t want to miss out on some of the best times of your life as a result of COVID-19. You also don’t want to miss out on some truly positive experiences because you were worried about COVID-19 either.
If you take the proper precautions and adopt a beneficial mindset, however, you can still make this coming semester an enjoyable and productive time.
Below we take a look at 5 tips that will help you not only survive the semester but to make the absolute most of it you can.
Hand Sanitizer & Masks As School Supplies
The supplies you pack for class in the COVID-19 era are going to be a bit different from the supplies you packed previously. Hand sanitizer is now just as important to college students as their notepads and pens.
Bring it with you wherever you go and use it after touching surfaces or sharing items with other students.
Wear a mask inside whenever you are unable to socially distance. For college students this coming semester, that means wearing your mask to class and keeping it on.
There will be those that find this inconvenient and even difficult to do.
But the more you wear a mask, the more natural it feels. And it is one of, if not the most important thing you can do to help stop the spread.
Remember, wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer isn’t just about protecting you. It’s about protecting those around you and slowing the spread of the virus.
It has never been more important to stay up to date with what health experts are saying.
We are only about 5 months deep into this pandemic, and the information that we're being told changes frequently. Therefore, keeping as up-to-date as possible is going to help keep you stay safe.
Remember that health experts have the knowledge that you do not. And this is the case no matter how much “Googling” you’ve been doing on the subject.
Knowledge your local health experts may have that you don’t include incidents of community transmission, where the virus has been spreading in your area, and what behaviors are considered risky or unnecessary in your location.
Always make sure the person you are listening to is a credentialed health expert and that other experts agree with what they are saying.
When in doubt, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has produced this handout to help determine reliable sources.
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Avoid Parties and Large Gatherings
Part of the fun of college has always been the big parties, socializing and meeting of new people.
Unfortunately, this is going to be much harder, and less safe, in the COVID-19 era, where social distancing is still going to be just as important as ever.
Keep in mind that, in general, a person is too close to you if you would touch fingers if you both stretched out your arms. You are going to have to make new friends while always maintaining that distance around new people.
With Zoom, Snapchat, and all the different ways we have to communicate with each other nowadays, the new connections you form with people are going to have to be online, at least for now.
There will be a time in the future when we don’t have to socially distance anymore. But in the meantime, we must continue to do our part to prevent the spread of this potentially deadly virus.
Lead A Healthy and Active Lifestyle
The healthier you are, the less you have to worry personally about COVID-19.
If you feel as though you aren’t as healthy and active as you could be, now is a great time to change that.
While it will likely be years still before all the facts are known, it does appear obesity and vitamin D deficiency are linked to poorer outcomes with the virus.
Fortunately, both of these conditions are reversible. In fact, Vitamin D deficiency is linked with obesity, so solving one will likely help in solving the other.
Getting outside and enjoying nature will help with a Vitamin D deficiency, and being active while outdoors will help reduce obesity. An active and healthy lifestyle will help you feel better and put you at less risk of developing complications if you do catch the virus.
Relax and Enjoy
This is likely far easier said than done but the best thing you can do is try and relax and just enjoy the semester.
Life will always throw challenges your way and while they might not always be as extreme as a global pandemic, you will eventually need to learn to be happy while dealing with obstacles.
Students heading back to campus right now are likely feeling as though they have been robbed of some fun times.
This is only true if you think of it that way, however. This is a difficult time for everyone but thinking about the pandemic in the right way can help.
Try thinking of this time as an opportunity for you to show the world your best self. Be as selfless as you can, help others who aren’t doing well, get yourself in great shape, and truly be the best version of yourself you can.
No large college party feels as good as high self-esteem does.
COVID-19 Student Survival Guide
By following the tips we’ve outlined above, there is no reason for you to find this semester stressful or scary. Do what you can, worry only about what is in your control, and adopt the best mindset you can to make the most out of a truly unique semester.