Returning to Campus Life

  • Lojaen Teskyeh
  • Malak Saadi

COVID-19 has changed students’ lives significantly. People have been confined to live indoors and be separated from the outside world. Of course, living in the digital age has created some benefits with the opportunity to connect through multiple social media applications. However, this has come with many challenges, such as making classrooms of bedrooms and battling Wi-Fi connections.   

However, many universities are now returning to face-to-face learning, and this could be especially hard for international students leaving their home countries and venturing off to their new destinations. There is a sense of excitement and anxiousness, therefore, we present to you tips on how to return to campus life.   

Tip 1. Establish a Routine:   

Fostering familiar habits creates a stable base for new adventures in order to reach the goals we seek. If you do not have a routine, start small. Focus on creating a morning and bedtime routine . This eliminates the morning rush and stress that can come with it. Prepare nutritious snacks and meals to have in the morning or to take with you to campus. Having breakfast fuels your mind and allows you to start your day strong. This also helps you maintain your health and avoid anxiety spikes. It is also important to establish a bedtime routine to unwind after a long day. Make sure to set a bedtime routine that include relaxing activities such as skin care or light reading. 

Tip 2. Make a Friend in Every Class:   

After being deprived from face-to-face interactions for so long, building connections with classmates will be all the more rewarding. Whenever you feel nervous about striking up a conversation with someone new, keep in mind that they are also riding COVID’s roller-coaster, trying to figure out what post-lockdown life on campus looks like. Having a friendly face in every class will have a positive impact on your mood. It can also ease your stress knowing that you have a friend to help you catchup on school material if needed.  

Tip 3. Reach Out if You Need Support:   

Prioritize your mental health above all. This is a transition that can create additional stress for international students and introverts. Share your feelings with a teacher, counselor, or even a classmate if you’re overwhelmed or feeling anxious about transitioning back to campus life. Familiarize yourself with the support services your university offers. There is power in asking for help when you need it, and you’ll find that when you reach out, things will start falling into place.   

Tip 4. Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself:   

No matter what it is – not receiving the grades you hoped for, sleeping through your alarm, or feeling completely lost in your lecture, try your best to not put too much pressure on yourself. Be kind to yourself. It's important to acknowledge that you’re adjusting to a big change. It is important to find the line between pushing yourself forward and being too harsh on yourself. If you pay more attention, your body and mind will send you signs to slow down and take a break.