Resuming studies post-COVID-19 lockdown
Education is currently affected by the COVID-19 crisis and will be for some time. Students might resume studies online or through blended learning. The past semester created some stress and pressure on university students leading many of them to experience anxiety.
Students might also be worried about returning to university or school. With all the information we have received about the spread and prevention of COVID-19, students may be anxious about their risk of infection. They may also have concerns over the new experience of online or blended learning.
All these concerns are entirely understandable. However, when a person is unable to stop worrying, there is a risk that this might turn into some form of obsessive behavior in an attempt to take control of the situation.
One way to prevent this from happening is to do as much as you can to protect yourself. Wash your hands for the recommended time only (20 seconds), maintain physical distancing, and wear a mask. It is important to remember that you will not have to come back to university unless the authorities and the institution’s administration consider it safe to do so and have implemented all necessary precautions for your safety.
Although online education has many benefits and many of the same activities can be done online as face-to-face, it does not wholly replace the social and physical interactions that we need as human beings. The lockdown is, of course, frustrating for students who love campus life, face-to-face interactions, networking, and exchange of knowledge on campus, but online and blended learning can provide you with more flexibility to build a network outside the university.
Time management is vital. It is especially important to start discussing your plan for next semester now. Use the summer to plan for a successful year, considering physical activity, healthy eating, hobbies, and social activities, along with your study plan.
No matter what you do, it is not always possible to protect yourself completely. Follow the recommended precautions to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19 and strengthen your immune system by following the right diet, exercise, and sleep habits. Humans are adaptive creatures, and we are more resilient than we often realize.
Dr. Iffat Elbarazi
Assistant Professor of Public Health
College of Health Sciences