Healthy Habits in a Pandemic
No one has truly figured out this new normal in the time of COVID-19. Especially on a college campus, pretty much everything that was once so normal has changed.
St. Lawrence University has instilled policies in order to promote the safety of our community and outlined them in the “Laurentian Pact”. Though these rules limit the residential halls you can visit, number of people you can interact closely with, and makes our SLU campus look very different, there are so many ways to maintain a healthy and happy life on campus while keeping our community as safe as possible.
As a senior, I have previously discovered ways to make the most out of my SLU experience which has given me a great advantage in establishing healthy habits to navigate our community in a pandemic.
One of the hardest parts for me being on campus has been how different my schedule is compared to my last three years at SLU. Some of my classes meet on Zoom once a week, some professors will pre-record lectures, my volleyball practices are at different times, my tutoring session are over Zoom, and my Admissions shifts are always unique. Other students have similar experiences and have experienced drastic changes in their schedules. Therefore, its so important to maintain an organized planner.
Usually, I sit down on Sundays and plan my week based on emails from professors, coaches, and my syllabi. I use certain colors to mark important meetings, exams, volleyball practices, and work shifts which helps me get a good overview of my week before it has started. I've found this to be so helpful, especially this year, to know when I need to be on campus or when I need to be in a quiet room for a Zoom call.
My favorite part about this organization is being able to physically cross something off after I have completed it, giving me a sense of accomplishment to continue the week!
Since getting back to campus, a huge part of my day and mental relief has involved a workout. Initially, my roommates and I made a schedule to workout daily at the track. We would bring our weights, jump rope, and a speaker. This was a great way to alleviate our restlessness after sitting in front of our laptops for hours each day. Recently, though, my volleyball team was able to start practicing again with regulations in place.
Even though our season was cancelled, we have four practices a week, along with some weightlifting. More than anything, this has been so beneficial just to give myself more of a schedule that is similar to my past three years at SLU. In previous falls, vollyball occupied about four hours of my day.
Having a group of people with similar interests to get active with daily is so beneficial. This may involve you and some roommates or some other campus friends (if you are masked and outside of course)!
Immerse Yourself in the Community
Though, as students, we are unable to travel outside of St. Lawrence County without approval, there are so many things to do and discover within the region. My volleyball team recently went to pick apples at Canton Apples to help out a local farm. This was an excellent way for us to abide by the Laurentian Pact while getting a break from schoolwork and volleyball practice.
Though there are restrictions in place, there are still many ways to contribute to the community. Many clubs and teams contributed to “Make A Difference Day” by raking leaves around Canton. With masks on, students still got outside and demonstrated the dedication that SLU has for our community. Volunteer opportunities such as these are great ways to take a break from schoolwork and news on the pandemic and focus on helping out with small problems right in our town!
Additionally, with the Adirondacks right in our backyard, there are so many great hikes to take.Mt. Arab has been a beautiful place to go for sunrise or Saturday hikes! Many students have gone here with their family units and the Laurentian Pact permits it because it is in St. Lawrence County. This is an amazing way to truly get away from campus and discover the North Country.
Immerse Yourself in OUR Community
Even though our family unit is the only group we can interact with in unmasked close contact, it is so important to safely reach out and see other friends on campus. SLU has such an intricate social network, with individuals on sports teams also involved in clubs, friends in different theme houses, and many other ways that students have connected with each other over the years. During Zoom classes, many of us are more confined to our rooms and unable to see these diverse groups of friends. So, something as simple as scheduling a lunch and bundling up to eat with with friends on the quad is so important to get yourself out of your dorm and to maintain social connections.
To priorizie yourself in a time of uncertainty, its so important to stay organized, find ways to become active, get out and explore, and be an engaged member of our community! It's a great time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and discover your new normal.