Coping with COVID-19 on campus

A+photograph+of+a+variety+of+masks+intended+for+use+against+COVID-19.

Madelaine Vikse

A photograph of a variety of masks intended for use against COVID-19.

By Quade Evans, Lifestyle writer

The COVID-19 outbreak shut down a lot of things, from essential services to social venues. The campus was hit particularly hard by the lack of campus activities. While NIU is returning to in-person classes this week, things are still far from normal. Here are four ideas that can help when it comes to coping with COVID-19 on campus.

Prioritize your health

The uncertainty of not knowing if classes will be online or in person on a week-to-week basis may feel stressful. The best thing you can do is take control of the things that you know you can control. Keep up with your personal routines, make sure to get enough sleep, dress like you would on a normal day and put effort into your appearance. It may take more time, but it will end up being worth it in the end. 

“If you take those small steps they may seem insignificant, but in the end it’s all worth it,” said Aziz Adadeji, a sophomore at NIU majoring in marketing.

Stay connected 

Since the pandemic began, people may have developed a tendency to retreat into themselves, but those habits can add to stress. In reality, healthy social interactions may help to ward off loneliness and anxiety.

“Not being able to see my friends immediately kinda bummed me out,” said Darryl Evans, a junior at NIU majoring in business administration. “I could still talk to them, but it wasn’t the same.”

Getting together and connecting with your family and friends may look a bit different now, but it’s not impossible. 

Do things you enjoy 

Everyone has things they enjoy doing but don’t get to indulge in due to the stress and rigor of their day to day lives. With the advent of the pandemic, however, people may now have more time to dedicate to their various hobbies, but even for those who do not, it’s still important to schedule time for your hobbies.

Don’t check the news 24/7 

The constant 24-hour news updates can make individuals eager to keep reading about COVID-19, especially since the return to in-person classes depends on weekly positivity rate results. Try limiting your intake to just what is necessary to stay informed and don’t stress yourself out.

Whether it’s in person or online classes, individual health still matters. The steps we take when faced with these challenges could mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful student. If you feel too overwhelmed at any point this semester, be sure to contact the NIU Counseling and Consultation Services at 815-753-1206 or at room 200 of the Campus Life Building.