The past few days and weeks have certainly been a difficult and confusing time for both our community and the world. Unexpected changes to daily life can cause unwanted stress and anxiety, and it is important to focus on self-care during a crisis such as our current situation. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many disruptions to students’ plans, especially those who are planning to graduate this semester. During this time, it is important for everyone to find things to remain positive about and be grateful for.
This global health crisis is likely not something the class of 2020 or any other student envisioned would be among their worries as they prepared to graduate. Months of preparation for research projects, internships and exams have suddenly been superseded by government orders to social distance and self-quarantine, but there are some hopeful shimmers of light that students can look to to stay positive.
If we can find these silver linings and encourage each other for the duration of the pandemic, we will become stronger and more connected as a student body. The Northern Star aims to be a guiding light for the DeKalb community as they look for answers and assist with increasing morale.
For seniors who feared that commencement would be cancelled, the promise of a postponed ceremony scheduled for August is a major event to look forward to and celebrate. The university has shown its commitment to recognizing the hard work of graduates by making this decision.
The decision to switch to online classes for the rest of the semester was made in a timely manner to protect students and staff from the spread of COVID-19. The ability to complete most courses online makes it possible to avoid the disease spreading across campus at a rapid rate.
The sudden increased reliance on technology for learning will be a good opportunity for students and faculty to increase their proficiency with their devices and figure our creative ways to stay connected with one another.
Students worried about being able to complete their course work in an online setting should contact their professors or department heads. Since this situation is a big change, university faculty are figuring out learning strategies that will be best for students and are doing their best to adapt to the needs of students.
The stay-at-home order issued by Illinois governor JB Pritzker, which lasts until April 7, drastically changes the pace of daily life. This time should be an opportunity to complete goals that may have gone otherwise unfinished. Now is an important time to stay at home, to bond with family and friends and to keep morale high while spending time on personal hobbies.
How we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic will indicate the strength of our generation.