Coping with College During the Pandemic

The coronavirus has changed the way we study and work forever. Although some schools have reopened, many students are opting to stay home due to understandable COVID-19 anxiety. Indeed, many schools that have opened saw a spike in cases that resulted in shut-downs or returning to online education. Going to college during the coronavirus can cause serious stress that distracts from your education. The fear of getting sick and possibly infecting your friends and family can be paralyzing. If you are currently struggling to find a balance between pragmatism and precaution, these suggestions may be able to help.

Make Alternative Living Arrangements

You may have been excited to live on campus, but if you are too anxious to stay in the dorms, think about remaining at home or sharing an apartment with roommates. This can drastically lower your exposure to other students, and it can also lower your tuition. Flexibility is key when it comes to learning how to cope with the coronavirus. College life, like everything else, will look different. The best route is to choose the option that gives you the greatest sense of security without compromising your ability to function in society.

Think About Online Classes

If you are interested in staying remote until a vaccine comes out, then you may want to look into online degree programs. Research your tuition costs and how these would vary between your existing school and an online university. Questions like how much can you take out for student loans can get you started, and by understanding your options and limits, you may find it’s possible to even lower your projected debt by thousands of dollars. Online college can also provide you with more free time; this is useful for students who are already employed, have a family or other conflicting responsibilities. It can also provide greater breathing room for those who have disabilities, mental health disorders or chronic medical conditions.

Stay Socially Distant, Not Disconnected

While you may not be able to attend events and get-togethers like before, it is possible to stay in touch with friends and family. A social support system is an important factor in lowering stress and reducing anxiety. You may feel trapped because of COVID and avoid socialization altogether; go against your desire to isolate and use technology to your full advantage. Quarantine can actually be helpful in pushing you to reach out to others. It’s no longer convenient to just bump into someone on campus or get together; trust the people you care about to hear your worries, and let your relationships bring you comfort.

Seek Professional Help if You Need It

No one was prepared to live through a global pandemic. Not having the answers, and needing someone else to listen, is perfectly normal. As a college student, you are likely already stressed from your wide range of daily responsibilities and worries about the future. A counselor can help you learn how to be comfortable with the uncertainty and work through it one day at a time.

Photo by Philippe Bout on Unsplash

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