For millions of college students in the United States and across the globe, this semester is looking a little different than the last. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many college campuses have been forced to suspend onsite classes for the duration of the school year. Whether you’re taking online classes or are pausing on academia for the foreseeable future, there’s no question that our current situation has invited some unwanted uncertainty into your college plans.
But with a solid support system and some navigational help, making it through the semester is entirely doable! We’ve got some tips for college students dealing with anxiousness surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. From connecting with friends to staying motivated in school, we’re here to help make this transition as seamless as possible.
Make moving out simple.
If you are currently staying in an off-campus apartment or house, talk to your landlord about policies and procedures associated with COVID and your lease. Make sure you fill out any paperwork you need to, clean up, and fix any wear and tear before moving out.
Given social-distancing rules and recommendations, you’ll want to be as careful as you can when moving out of your space. To protect yourself and others, be sure to sanitize your belongings before and after you move, and practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. If you have family, friends, or movers helping you, be sure to ask that they follow these guidelines, too.
One of the biggest challenges college students are currently facing is adjusting to life back at home. When it’s time to move back in with the family, remember that this is an unprecedented time for everyone, so while you might find yourself frustrated about the circumstances, know that everyone is in this thing together!
Prioritize time with friends.
Another big shift you’re probably facing is saying goodbye to your college friends. One neat thing about college is that you get to meet people from near and far, so you might find yourself thousands of miles away from your besties. While you may not be able to plan a cross-country road trip to visit them over the summer, there are plenty of ways you can still connect while abiding by health and safety recommendations.
Here are a few ideas and apps you can use to start filling up your social calendar:
- Plan a virtual happy hour via video chat.
- Play Pictionary, card games, and trivia using the HouseParty app.
- Challenge your college crew to create their best quarantine costume and host a virtual costume party.
- Learn Tik Tok dances together via video chat.
- Host a virtual workout class with your gym buddies.
- Install the Netflix Party extension to binge watch your favorite series with your friend group.
Keep your budget intact.
If you’re like many college students, this crisis is throwing off your academic or professional plans to some degree. Whether or not you expect to alter your plans, preparing as much as you can is always a good idea, especially if you’ve incurred student loan debt. It may be tempting to engage in some retail therapy to get through these hard times, but keeping an eye on your budget will go a long way in minimizing the financial impact of COVID-19.
To help you stay on top of your budgeting needs, stay true to college living—you probably won’t need to change much if you’ve already started to practice some frugality on your student budget. Download a budgeting app to help you track your expenses and eliminate any extra costs that no longer make sense for your situation. If you were paying for a gym membership, for example, you can probably pause it to save money for the time being. Conducting a financial audit and tweaking your budget will set you up for financial success when school is finally back in session!
Stay motivated with an at-home school setup.
Switching to online classes can be a huge transition for students who are accustomed to traditional courses. From fine-tuning your tech setup to keeping on top of your coursework, there are plenty of obstacles to overcome if you want to finish out the school year strong.
One of the best things you can do to stay focused is create an at-home school setup that’s conducive to learning. Here are a few guidelines to help you curate a workspace that’s both productive and personalized:
- If possible, keep your desk separate from other distractions in the house. A standalone room is ideal, but if you’re limited on space, a nook or section of your bedroom will do just fine.
- Incorporate memorabilia from your school to keep you focused on your goal and excited to return when it’s safe to do so.
- Keep your desk area clean and minimalist to avoid distractions.
- Create a daily to-do list and a monthly calendar to keep yourself accountable for meeting your academic goals.
- Set up a virtual study group with classmates and friends to help support each other during this time.
There’s no road map for getting through these unprecedented times, but with these tips, we hope you can stay safe and healthy while you finish off the school semester strong!
Sophie Sirois is a writer based in sunny San Diego, CA, currently writing content for 365businesstips.com. With her Bachelor’s of Art in Strategic Communication behind her, Sophie began working in the content marketing sphere and has been crafting unique, informative, and click-worthy content ever since. Sophie enjoys covering a variety of topics, including tech, finance, business, marketing, wellness, and culture.
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