Annie Thacker, MSW Candidate CAPS Trainee
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has left us all navigating uncharted waters. In addition to fear and anxiety about the disease itself and our own health and the health of loved ones, our daily lives are being disrupted in new and unpredictable ways. Each day seemingly brings changes that upend any of the progress from the previous day. It can be incredibly difficult to have limited access to the outdoors, to friends, to social supports, to the library; and given the surreal and extraordinary nature of this particular moment in time, it is completely understandable to be feeling somewhat lost as to how to proceed, how to take care of ourselves.
Haverford College’s move to virtual coursework for the remainder of the semester will doubtless be challenging, and new to many of you. It may be harder than usual to focus. Facing the unknown is scary in the best of times and can be downright impossible during periods of heightened stress. Furthermore, the uncertainty that comes along with being a college student in a transitional time to begin with brings its own stress and questions of how to proceed. We suspect that this is beginning to impact each of you differently.
Those of you who are seniors may be experiencing particularly high levels of stress as a result of the many unknowns inherent to this situation, as you work to finish your thesis and prepare for graduation. There may also be feelings of sadness and frustration at the loss of this time on campus with peers and faculty and worries about jobs and what comes next. Similarly, first years, sophomores and juniors may be anxious about lost opportunities for the summer and concerns about how long this will stretch into the upcoming year. Will desired opportunities for internships, travel abroad or particular experiences not be available?
Further complicated matters are the various locations we are all dealing with this from. We know that going "home" means different things to everyone, and that while for some students this may be a place of comfort, for others, this time at home may be adding to the discomfort of this experience. Some students are now navigating being on campus that is drastically different than before and having to deal with incredible isolation and loneliness.
Given all of this we have worked to compile a list that we hope you will find helpful during this time. It provides what we have found to be some some useful guidance to help you stay safe and healthy, mentally and physically.