It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. All of a sudden, students across the nation are adjusting to life now that campuses have closed. Many students have moved back in with their parents to flee the dorms, and find themselves managing the new virtual versions of their classes from their childhood bedroom. We understand this is an adjustment. While we are all practicing social distancing, it can be more difficult than ever to maintain a working school-life balance. However, school-life balance has never been more crucial!
- Establish a daily routine.
When you are spending all-day, every day at home it can be easy to let your structure slip. However, we encourage you to set some routines to your day. Have a time you wake up each morning, and a time you go to bed each evening. Try to script out each morning. Wake up, take a shower, make breakfast, check your email, and start your online classes. The order doesn’t matter so much as the routine does. Find what works for you and stick to it!
- Practice self-care.
The first few days of social distancing, you probably enjoyed lounging in your pajamas all day. But as the days wear on, it will become more and more important for you to upkeep all your self-care practices. Take a shower everyday. Put on a fresh outfit (even if it is loungewear). Try to get outside everyday for a walk (but be sure to keep a minimum of 6 feet between you and everyone else who is trying to get some fresh air).
- Set up a workspace.
You may love working from your bed, but while we are all practicing social distancing or sheltering in place, you need to set limits. Let your bed be a place of rest and relaxation. Bringing your schoolwork into your bed will dissolve your feeling of boundaries between your personal life and your student life. Instead, set up a spot that’s just for work! If you have a desk, great. If not, move a chair and a small table or TV tray into the corner of your room, spread a blanket out in the backyard—whatever it takes to make space! If at all possible, try to make that space quiet. Put on wordless music if necessary. Whatever you need to do to drown out the sounds of home so you can zero in on your work.
- Make school hours for yourself.
Just as you need to carve out a physical space that’s just for schoolwork, you need to carve out time that’s just for schoolwork. Part of your daily routine needs to be your schoolwork. We recommend keeping this within certain operating hours to help keep your school life and home life separate. For example, you could from 10am to 2pm everyday you will commit to school work. 10-12pm doing you virtual lessons, and 12pm-2pm completing assignments, reading for classes, and reviewing notes.
- Communicate your needs
Now that you are home, you might have to chip in with your shared family responsibilities. That’s important! You family members might be working dawn to dusk delivering groceries, might be working from home all of a sudden, might be home from school or day care, or suddenly out of work. This pandemic is affecting us all in different ways and you might find yourself all at home at once with each of you trying to find your own balance. This is why its important you stage an open conversation with anyone you are at home with during these shutdowns. What do you each need to accomplish each day? What do you each need help with to get everything done. Be sure to voice your school and work needs clearly, and be an active participant in finding a solution that works for everyone. This might require coordinating schedules, sharing in chores, discussing childcare timetables, and so on. Just be clear and be flexible to find what works.
We know this is an unusual and trying time for everyone. You should take a moment to be proud of yourself for how you’ve handled everything so far. But please be sure to take stock of your needs. We want you to succeed. Don’t give in to bad habits, and don’t give up. You have come so far, let’s finish this semester with a flourish.
Great work, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your College Completion Coach if you have any questions or concerns! WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!
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