Settling into a new normal: For Students


Angelique Gingras, Author, Editor

Across the nation, people are settling into a new norm during the COVID-19 outbreak. In late January, the pandemic officially entered the United States, and since then has infected over 350,000 people in all 50 states as of the week of April 6. It has interrupted most of our daily functions, crowded hospitals, and halted business and instruction.

With most schools in the US closed, many students are transitioning to online learning, while parents are trying to keep them optimistic and engaged. At Calvert High, online learning resources are being utilized in order to continue with normal learning instruction as much as possible. It can be hard to adapt, but here are some tips that I hope will keep you encouraged through these unfamiliar times.

  1. Create a schedule. The reason many of us are most productive at school is because we are on a regular schedule. Having this type of structure is beneficial in setting time aside for getting work done, while still having a break when needed. Our school district’s educational platform Schoology is an effective way to keep track of your upcoming due dates from teachers. This ensures one accomplishes what they need to for the day, while not getting overwhelmed. I’ve created a schedule for my day in order to not only make sure I get all of my online learning done, but also to control my screen time and go outside.
  2. Stay Active. There’s no doubt that self-isolating can take a toll on our mental health. An effective way to stay out of a slump is to do something active, especially outside. It can be as little as a walk, or something more, like creating a home-workout plan. I have been staying active by setting a goal to spend at least two hours outside each day. If it’s raining, I stay inside and practice dance.
  3. Try something new. Take advantage of social-distancing by trying something new, like learning to play an instrument, or finding a new book series. It’s rare that most of us in our daily lives have downtime for weeks at a time, so take advantage of it. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to by setting goals for yourself, and it’s a great way to relax that doesn’t necessarily involve screen time.
  4. Reach out. Just because we can’t participate in public gatherings doesn’t mean we should be cut off from the world. Take this time to reach out to friends and family to whom you don’t talk to much because they probably have free time on their hands as well. I’ve been utilizing different video chat platforms to spend time with my friends, and Schoology to reach out to my teachers. This makes me feel a sense of normalcy during this time.
  5. Stay positive. This is the best advice I can give, and it’s not always easy to do. In this time we are in, it can be hard to stay motivated with an adjusted lifestyle, especially when you don’t know when this is going to end. I stay positive by always having something to look forward to, whether it’s cooking my favorite meal that evening, or waiting to receive a letter from my pen pal.

Adapting to staying at home while still trying to live a normal life is a challenge for many, especially for students who are used to being on the go all the time. I hope that these tips will help you cope during this pandemic, and that you learn as much as I have from this experience. Finally, remember to have gratitude, have faith, and keep an open mind, because this won’t last forever.