By Camryn Quick, '21
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating in more ways than one. While having to cope with the danger of the virus and with loss, we have also had our lives uprooted with barely any warning. When it comes to us college students, we were sent home with our college experience cut short, and we were met with feelings of guilt for even being upset about this in spite of everything. As we prepare to head back to campus, I think it is important to remember that life will still be different, and I have thought over some points that may help us cope with this.
Recognition and Gratefulness
It would be very easy for us to be angry and/or annoyed with our new way of life in college, whatever the changes may be. It is completely valid to feel this way, however we must recognize our position. We are lucky to be generally young and healthy, but we cannot let our negative emotions make us careless. We are also lucky that our administration is allowing us to return to school, seeing as many institutions are continuing 100% remote programs. We need to be grateful for our youth, general health and resilience, and our ability to attend Coker in the fall.
Take Care of Yourself
The past few months have been scary to say the least. Without the structure that school gave us, it became easy to wallow and turn away from any sort of routine. A perfect way for us to cope with the virus is to take care of ourselves: mind, body, and soul. Try to find a routine that you enjoy, and one that involves exercising in a physical, mental, and/or spiritual sense. This will help you cope with what’s going on around you. Whether it’s for just 10 minutes a day or an hour, a stable routine and release of energy will do you good. Also, make sure to care for yourself in the ways you want and need. You know the best way to “self-care,” so make sure you take it upon yourself to do what you need to do to feel good.
Find Ways to Safely Connect
Even while social distancing and following guidelines, we can find ways to safely connect with our friends. Human interaction is critical to the college experience, so we need to be around each other or communicating with each other like we usually do, but with our safety measures implemented. Of course we will know more about the details of our interactions to come, but we need to keep up our experiences with our peers as much as we can.
Remember You are a Student
Despite all of the changes, we are ultimately working toward an education. We have to remember this. We need to continue to focus on learning, even if we have to do work online. While it is not ideal, we have to recognize our privilege at being able to get an education under any circumstance. So many people are not afforded the opportunity to go to college, and despite what is going on, our administration is going to make it possible for us to learn in whatever way they can. If we have the opportunity to go to class, we need to be thankful, safe, and attentive, as we are very lucky to be able to go to class and be a student.
Keep Yourself (and Others) Safe
Lastly, we need not to lose sight of the pandemic. It does not do well to obsess over it, but being as safe as you can is ideal. We need to follow the guidelines put in place at Coker, wear masks when we are out in public, limit our gatherings, and of course, wash our hands! We cannot only worry about ourselves, but our staff, faculty, and peers. We have to protect ourselves and our fellow Cobras, because that is what family does.
For more information about Coker's response to COVID-19, please visit coker.edu/covid-19.