Dealing with College and Covid

Posted on September 3, 2020

If you check out my website, you’ll discover that I’ve had many years of experience with students just like you, working on a college degree. I know students, inside and out.

Right now, your biggest concern is being prepared as a student on campus with the COVID virus all around you:  even among friends you just casually want to stop and say “hi” to on a walkway.

True, a college education is absolutely something to strive for. Students will use and build-on it throughout their lives.

But with COVID, it’s as if its voice is saying, “Hold it, there. You ain’t goin’ nowhere. Your dreams will vanish in the midst of this disease.  Wrong.

You can still earn that degree and succeed in life.
But you’re going to have to learn tactics to live among the virus.

Right now, your college education starts with controlling COVID. So first things first: If your college offers online classes, take them first semester.

  1.  College and Universities haven’t yet worked out how to make campuses really safe. They’re trying. But my strong advice is to “stay home.”  Use online classes ( called “distanced learning”) — for at least one semester. Observe what happens on campus.  
  2. If you want to go to your campus and take some, or all, of your courses in classrooms, conduct yourself the way the experts have advised. These messages have been “out there” for months. 

    – Keep that social distance at 6 feet and avoid crowds. And especially, avoid crowds. Sorry, that’s not just in hallways. No bars, no parties, no recreation center, or any place where people tend to breathe, sneeze, or cough on you. Will it be hard? Yes. But your life may depend on it.

    – Carry some kind of pocket-size or backpack container of sanitizer to rub on your hands. Use it all the time when needed.

    – Wash your hands, all the time. Before you leave your dorm room. Both entering and leaving a classroom. That’s what you life will be like. Enter here, leave there.  Go and return.  Open a door?  Sanitize your hands.
  3. Follow the regulations the college dictates. You want to keep yourself and everyone else on campus safe: professors, people who serve you food, the staff in college offices, anyone you pass in the hallways. Keep your distance.  You must be mindful of everyone else.
  4. Follow these guidelines even if you live off-campus. The corona virus isn’t confined to campus. Use public transportation? It can mean close quarters.
  5. Finally, if you stay personally safe and healthy, the people around you will be safe, too.
    That’s an enormous and life-altering responsibility.

Here’s a concept to keep in mind:

COVID-19 has changed life and living for everyone around the world. That’s big. In the process, the virus has turned all the traditional images and experiences of college upside-down.

But your own college education does not have to be turned upside-down all the way. My future blogs will tell you how to have a terrific college experience and how to build a great life for yourself.  

Please keep yourself and everyone around you safe and healthy.

More blogs to come,

Dr. Bob

P.S. Iknow students. You wouldn’t believe how many thousands I’ve counseled individually. I know what they typically do on their own for the first time amid so many temptations. I can alert them to the many common pitfalls. The great majority of students don’t recognize them. Young people lack the insight to see what makes the dominoes fall. They repeat their mistakes semester after semester.

What to do during out-of-class time and why. Study places to avoid. The critical need to keep up in course readings when instructors don’t “check.”  How much is enough sleep? These are just a few of daily decisions that have long-term serious consequences.

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