What Should I Expect During COVID?
There is much uncertainty about the policies that will unfold and apply to students and institutions of all varieties, everywhere. Even where on-campus learning is permissible, students will have to deal with social distancing, mask protocols, vaccine passports, and more.
We don’t believe that online learning is the same as in-person learning, and we are hopeful that fewer students will be deprived of the campus experience wherever possible. Insofar as the calibre of learning, the good news is that institutions are becoming quite practiced at delivering programs via distance learning. Technology can greatly assist and even enhance the learning experience when used effectively. Both synchronous and asynchronous learning platforms enable students to study in an environment that lends itself well to prescribed learning outcomes. So don’t assume that you will learn less studying online or in a “hybrid” environment (online and in-person learning, combined). Make the very best of this admittedly difficult environment you are living in.
Students taking online programs should make a concerted effort not retreat into social isolation. Instead, study groups, permissible collaboration, and life-long friendships should be an integral part of college and university. This kind of integration is an important aspect of the campus experience.
In its 2022 Colleges Guidebook, MacLean’s Magazine quoted Brock University’s Director of Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, who noted that “mental health support should be an ongoing dialogue between students and post-secondary service providers”. We could not agree more. Managing one’s mental health during COVID is as important as physical fitness and physical health—for they are integrally related. Ongoing integration among students and faculty, and students is essential. Join extracurricular groups and clubs that interest you. The company you keep may be as important as the activities you love.
Isolation, solitude, and loneliness often require external help. Virtually everyone on planet earth has a problem that you don’t know about. Reach out for support. Solid institutions, whether they are small colleges or Ivy League Universities, should have support during COVID. And frankly, long after this horrific pandemic resolves. Especially if you are living away from home without family support, you will need to mitigate your vulnerability by embracing other like-minded people. There is considerable strength in standing on each other’s shoulders.
Relentlessly Pursue Pathways and Passions
Do not let a pandemic be the reason you are decelerating. Not every student knows immediately what they are destined to do. But your passions are an excellent place to start. If you take them as far as you can go (wherever that is), you may find yourself in a very rewarding position with socially and professionally like-minded individuals. Once you find your passion, it is easier to find the best academic “fit”,, i.e. college or university. There is some “chicken and egg” to this, in the sense that not every student understands where their passion lies until they are enrolled at a post-secondary education institution. The number of individuals re-skilling and re-training in their mid 30’s, 40’s, and even 50’s, is staggering. So don’t stigmatize yourself if you have not yet found your higher ground.
MyPath.Global™ can help!
…stay tuned for Part III of V on March 4, 2022.
Harris Rosen, B.A., M.A., J.D.
Co-Founder, MyPath.Global e: firstname.lastname@example.org