It's OK - a message from Heather Odom

campus beauty

Things are absolutely crazy right now. Some of you are back home with siblings, slow internet and feelings of constriction because of the quarantine’s and your family’s rules. Some of you still have to work; others are worried about paying rent and getting food. And in the middle of this, suddenly your classes are all online.

Now you have to watch or listen to a lecture, try to teach yourself the material with constant COVID-19 updates blowing up your phone and family members/roommates interrupting you, and complete three more modules and a VoiceThread response before 8 p.m. It’s hectic, and that’s an understatement. And all you want to do is GO SOMEWHERE, ANYWHERE, to get away from all of it. But of course, you can’t, because quarantine.

It’s OK to feel this way.

Let me say that again.

It’s OK to feel this way. You’re not alone.

Everyone is feeling overwhelmed. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. We have all been affected by the pandemic, and things will never go back to “normal.” We have to accept that, we have to adapt. We have to learn how to go with the flow… just as soon as we find out where the flow is. This situation is unprecedented, and unless you’ve prepped for The Walking Dead zombie apocalypse, it’s not a scenario you’d find in most emergency guideline handbooks.

You have to accept that this is strange. That it’s a BIG change to suddenly be thrown into coursework in the middle of a term. Online courses are different from, and, in many cases, more work than, an in-class course. You are responsible for listening/watching/practicing the material provided by your instructor, and you can’t rely on the "annoyingly outgoing classmate" to ask the questions you were afraid to ask. Now YOU have to ask.

You are now in more control of your education than ever before. It is up to you to understand the material. Yes, it’s scary, intimidating and overwhelming. But you can do it. And yes, it may force you to do that one thing you’ve been avoiding all semester–talk to your instructor. (OK, maybe it’s not the ONE thing you’ve been avoiding, but it’s in the top five.) But you can do it.

You know you can do it.

You didn’t get this far in the term without adapting. You didn’t get up and race to your 8 a.m. history lecture in the middle of January to give up now. You didn’t pull an all-nighter to get that paper written or go to open lab hours for extra practice just for fun. No, you took control and did what was needed. You can do it again now.

Keep to a routine. Did you have psychology from 9 to 10:15 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday? Use that time to work on that class. Get up at your normal time and do your usual daily routine (though perhaps with more showers). Take it one piece at a time. Put your phone on silent, lock your bedroom door if you can, grab your headphones and settle in for some serious one-on-one time with your computer.

And if you don’t understand something about the material, ask your instructor. Remember, they are cooped up with their family too, going just as stir crazy as you are and would LOVE to interact with someone over the age of five or that speaks human.

USI’s campus is closed, that’s true. But that doesn’t mean you are alone in this.

Screagles fly together. Always.