Returning to college after the COVID-19 epidemic is a challenge for millions of students. There’s the fear of getting sick coupled with the adjustment of returning to campus after a year of distance learning. Even though it’s exciting to get back on campus and see your friends, there is also a lot of understandable stress.
These tips will help you get back into the swing of college amidst the new normal. You might also be a freshman who has yet to decide where they’re going to college. In that case, you might want to consider what services your prospective schools offer in terms of mental health and emotional well-being.
Consider reviewing this on the importance of university mental health services and how they impact student decisions. Understanding how the pandemic has created an unprecedented strain on young adults’ mental health is a valuable attribute of a good school. With that in mind, let’s move on to some helpful tips that will make your transition to campus learning more manageable.
Look at a Map Beforehand
The last thing you want to do is frantically try to find your classes only to wind up late. Familiarize yourself with the campus layout, including the location of all your classrooms. Showing up at least 30 minutes before your first lecture is also recommended as you’ll have enough time to walk around, find your building and get a seat without any pressure.
Don’t Force Yourself to Do Everything at Once
If it’s your first time in college, then you’ll likely feel overwhelmed trying to balance school and a social life. Extracurriculars are an important part of your academic career, but they’re also a good way to meet new people. However, don’t feel like you need to rush into any clubs or organizations right away. Consider spending the first semester solely focusing on coursework so you have a strong handle on your grades before adding other responsibilities into the mix.
Avoid shutting yourself in your dorm or bedroom every minute you’re not in class. You don’t have to be a gym rat to get some fitness in your day. Take a walk outside, or ride your bike. You can even go rollerblading or skateboard. Not only is getting outdoors good for your mental health, but exercise provides an accessible, free outlet for stress that can do wonders for your well-being. If you’re disabled, there are still some exercises you can utilize. Check out this wheelchair yoga routine and this full body seated workout. Remember to pace yourself and modify any activities to suit your fitness level and physical ability.
Remember to Get Help if You Need It
Take advantage of your school’s student wellness services. Talk to a counselor, see a therapist or even join a support group if you’re struggling with your mental health. There’s no shame in needing outside guidance. Reaching out helps fight the stigma and even inspire others to do the same. More importantly, it helps you build skills that you need to combat stress in the future.