Noah Hogan | Staff Writer
Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed daily life as we know it.
During our confinement, the pandemic left us with many questions. The one big one was: What would a full-scale, on-campus operation look like?
As students have returned roughly 18 months after Hampton University initially closed its doors and transitioned to remote learning, adjusting back to an on-campus lifestyle can be difficult for recent high school graduates and continuing students alike.
For university students looking for guidance during these trying times, these are five tips for adjusting back to campus.
1. Communication with your classmates is vital
Every day we are reminded of the ongoing pandemic by the usage of masks. Still, communication with your fellow peers is of the utmost importance.
As the classic saying goes, “Closed mouths don’t get fed.” It is impossible for those around you to understand what your needs are when you isolate yourself and never open up to those around you.
Whether it’s catching up on missed assignments or creating a group dynamic within a challenging class, the person next to you is often in a similar position.
“Talking with people in this climate can be difficult because it’s already hard enough to understand people with their mask, but the added measure of staying safe makes for a weird dynamic on campus,” said Quevon Jackson, an exercise science major at Old Dominion University. “Being in a classroom with nearly 200 students, it forces me to act outside of myself and interact with people that I probably would never say a word to.”
2. Time management is of the utmost importance
Time management can either make or break one’s collegiate experience. As students transition from an at-home classroom setup back to traditional forms of education, time management is a deal breaker.
With students joining different clubs and extracurricular activities, it is essential to manage time wisely to spread your energy evenly to various outlets.
“This year for me, time management is super important,” said Jackson. “As a fourth year in my junior year, I have more responsibility such as working to support myself, my grades and my health.”
3. Keep contact back home
As students get back to campus, anticipation to see old friends and flings from years prior rises. However, when workloads begin to get heavy, the campus can become a lonely place.
It can be very easy to forget about your support system back home when they are out of sight and out of mind. Set up weekly phone calls with friends and family back home to keep your connections close to keep your morale high.
“I actually talk to my two sisters almost every day and my mom practically every day,” said Miah Cox, a Hampton University journalism major. “I’m very close with my family. They’re basically my village.”
4. Take YOU time
Although taking time for oneself can be considered selfish, it is an essential need for returning to the classroom. Take at least one day out of the week to make sure you are resting and relaxing.
Balancing classes, extracurricular obligations, friends, family and the pandemic is a lot for any student. It takes time to adjust to a new normal. Taking a day to reflect on your emotions and mental state is necessary.
“Since my lighter workload days are Tuesdays, I use those days to organize my dorm or maybe wash clothes,” Cox said. “Having a clear space helps me have a clear mental space.”
5. Be adaptable
Remember, Hampton’s campus has not been open for nearly a year and a half. This is a new experience for every student and faculty member involved. Things will not be perfect, and there will be change.
Control the variables that you can control. Be adaptable.