BACK TO SCHOOL: COVID EDITION
Going back to school after the summer is never easy, but this year with the pandemic, it’s proving to be even more challenging for all of us. Many of us are having to adjust to online classes for the first time and dealing with less of a social life, which can lead to more isolation.
If you’re in first year, this transition from high school to university can be even more difficult. Not having things like orientation and frosh can make things a little harder to find friends and a sense of community. You may have never taken an online course either. We want you to know that you’re not alone in this and that there are ways to connect and adapt to first year, even if it is different. If you’re looking to meet new people, try looking for student groups on facebook, you’ll likely find others in your program and who are going through similar things to you. This group is dedicated just for first year students this 2020-2021 school year. Be sure to check out any online resources available if you’re having any trouble with online school.
For returning students, this new back to school can also be a struggle too. Whether it be finding your own routine, staying connected to your friends, or finding help for your mental health, it can be a lot to juggle. One thing that might help you manage your workload at home is by making your own schedule. Since many of your courses may be asynchronous, a routine might help with getting all your work done. For example, you can create a time or day each week that you’ll watch each lecture or do each reading on. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to make it 100% inflexible, but having a loose schedule could give you the sense of structure that you had during in person classes. The other thing we’re missing out on from in person classes is the connection with your classmates and friends. It’s more important than ever to support one another right now, as most of us aren’t going out as much. With this in mind it’s important to take time to connect with your loved ones in the way that works best for you, whether it be through social media, Skype, messing, calling, and more.
It’s important for you to still make time for your own self care and mental health as well. This time has been hard on all of us, and we want to make sure we’re still taking care of ourselves. This could look different for everyone and even individually, depending on your needs. It could be calling your close friends or family, having a movie night, getting some exercise, eating your favourite meal, or reaching out for help when you need it. If you’re looking for resources, UofT offers some, but we’ve also added a list of mental health services that we’re continuing to update here. We’re also hoping to implement some discussion boards and zoom meetings for you too, so stay tuned!
Stay safe and have a great school year!