After an unusual semester, full of frustrations and growth opportunities, it is time for many of us to return home. For some, this is a welcome change of pace; for others, the thought of returning home to finish up the semester is a daunting task. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s valid. We have compiled a list of tips and resources to help you finish the semester out strong. You can do this!
Image from: Michigan Health
Designate a work area
Finishing up assignments and doing exams from home certainly
poses unique challenges. There are many adjustments to be made surrounding
sharing a space with multiple people, new distractions (hustle and bustle of
holiday preparations, pets, sibling arguments), access to necessary resources, among many other things. Needless to say, it can be challenging to find a place free from distractions to be
Find or create a space
Avoid working in bed
Your bed should be designated as a sacred space, so try to
avoid using it while doing schoolwork. This simple habit can help you: 1)
establish and maintain boundaries between school and home; 2) facilitate
productivity by preventing you from falling asleep; 3) protect your sleep by
keeping you from associating the area where you rest with the stress of school
and all of the things left on your task list.
Find a public area
Identify local areas where you can access what you need. Local
coffee shops, public libraries, and other public spaces can potentially offer a
quiet space and access to Wi-Fi. This map can help you locate areas near you that
provide public Wi-Fi. Be sure to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines,
including wearing a mask and social distancing, when accessing public
Image from: EdSurge
Stick to a schedule
For many of us, it is a struggle to manage our time when we
don’t have structured commitments (such as classes) in place to help us
organize our day. This seemingly unlimited amount of time can cause us to
procrastinate, or put off doing the tasks we have left to do, leaving us with a
pile of work to do in a short amount of time. Talk about stressful! Creating a
schedule for yourself can help provide structure to the day so you can stay on
top of your to-do list.
Start with a morning routine
Don't neglect sleep
Sleep is usually the first thing to go when on break. Try to
maintain your sleep by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
This can help ensure you’re well rested and have both the energy and mental
capacity to tackle your final assignments.
Set a time frame to get work done
Source: Western Oregon University
Take time for yourself
Maintain healthy habits
Get outside/get active
Take a walk, go to the park, or simply sit out in the sunshine
on nice days! This can be a refreshing change of pace from sitting in front of
a screen all day. Research also suggests that getting physical activity can
help improve cognitive function, sleep, and quality of life, as well as
decrease anxiety and depression (source: CDC).
Being back at home can make many of us feel isolated or
unsupported. If you’re feeling this way about class, don’t hesitate to reach
out to your professors for help or clarification. Don’t forget to check the
course syllabus to see if your professor offers virtual office hours. You can
also make an appointment with a success coach to talk about items such as
organization, time management, study skills, and more. If you’re feeling
disconnected from friends, try to stay in touch through phone call, video chat,
text, email, snail mail, etc. You can also remain connected to friends and
campus through virtual
events. Maintaining connection, even virtually or at a distance, is a
valuable and necessary component of maintaining mental health. And of course,
don’t hesitate to reach out to the Carruth Center for mental health support. Call us 24/7 at 304-293-4431. WVU also offers the Crisis Text Line, which is a free resource available 24/7. Text WVU to 741741 and get connected to a trained Crisis Counselor.