Updated: May 3
As students return to campus for the spring semester, we remind ourselves what this upcoming term will look like. For myself, this upcoming semester will consist of hybrid learning. A mix of online learning as well as in-person classes. It is difficult to fathom what life was like before the pandemic began and as much as it is hard to realize just how hard it has impacted our education. Simply put, we were so used to the everyday norm until that everyday norm became a luxury and the unexpected became our new routine.
When Covid-19 hit in March, I along with countless other students across the country were forced to complete classes online until the end of the spring semester. Due to how new and frightening the virus has become, this decision made the most sense. With that being said, I know for many, virtual learning is simply not the same educational experience, and ultimately has resulted in feelings of isolation along with many emotional, mental, and academic hurdles to jump over. While having limited in-person classes this semester has brought back some sense of normalcy to students, the fact of the matter is that virtual learning unfortunately clashes with in-person learning. The mix of the two causes inconsistency in the lives of many students as well as a higher level of adjustment in their school routine. Understandably, the education experience is not what it used to be before this pandemic hit. Which has led students to gain a whole new sense of adaptation and resilience in their lives. While hybrid learning has created a sense of variance in many of our lives, I have found methods to help with this new sense of change.
Get in a Routine
Getting accustomed to a set routine can make a considerable difference in your life. Routines beneficially deliver structure and organization into our lives and offer a way to promote health and wellness for our mind. Adjusting to a set schedule and routine delivers consistency and decreases stress as you know exactly what your day will consist of. While everyone has different plans and goals for each day, I always start my morning with a fulfilling breakfast and then attend my classes for the day. After I have completed my schoolwork, I find some time for exercise. Whether it be a run or a walk around campus, getting moving is always part of my routine. Routines do not have to consist of anything substantial, but it is important to find what works best for you. I am a firm believer in the idea of consistency being key, especially in the times we are living in today. I think that a little more planning manages to go a long way and can benefit our minds from not overthinking and stressing about the daily events that encompass them.
Maintain a Positive Mindset
Our mind is an incredibly powerful tool. How we think can affect how we feel and how we act. The correlation between one’s mental health and mindset is a strong one and we can easily see how one directly affects the other. With all the change going on in terms of learning and in the workplace, it can be difficult to think positive and see where the light at the end of the tunnel is. While there are various ways to achieve a positive mindset, I have found that getting outside in nature by going on hikes or walking trails has allowed my mind to reset, recharge, and feel lighter.
While blending both online class and in-person class may not be our favorite option, we need to look for the silver linings as much as we can. While things are not what they used to be and may not be for a while longer, it is worth it to try and see things in a positive light. Keeping a positive mindset during difficult times such as these can help keep our minds light in many aspects. As Abraham Hicks said, “When you focus on the good, the good gets better.”
Talk To People Who Are in The Same Situation As You
When we are faced with change, it can be comforting to know that we are not alone. All of us are processing and channeling these unprecedented times differently. However, it is important to realize that we are all going through it together. Whether it be another student, roommate, friend, family member, talking through these things can help ease your mind and make you feel less overwhelmed. For myself, I have found that FaceTiming my best friend has made me feel less alone in the midst of this pandemic. While many may not enjoy hybrid learning or even working from home, we can take comfort in knowing that because we are all in this situation together, we will find a way to get out of it together.