Students and staff of Morehead State University are still attempting to adjust to a new way of living after changing to an online learning environment.
A focus on self-isolation and quarantine is being enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but there is concern over potential damage to mental health throughout the crisis. Those with existing mental health issues are especially vulnerable during an event where they will most likely be alone and without necessary help.
“For college students, all the normalcy and the schedule and the pattern and the living arrangements, that’s all changed,” said Goldie Williams, the Director of Counseling & Health Services at MSU. “And for those students that were struggling with depression, suicide ideation and other things, it just compounds that.”
Learning to adapt during self-isolation is key in keeping your mental health intact. Williams pointed out that even just a simple 15-minute walk outside is a good way to reduce anxiety and connect with your body. She does this with her family, allowing time to connect with others while also being active.
Williams expressed the importance of creating a schedule in order to stay busy while at home, stay positive and keep connected with friends and family.
“The quarantine has been a rude awakening for me,” said Tabbitha Watkins, a freshman who moved out of Mignon Tower. “The way I went about things every day has been changed due to me being home now. Being around my family helps lessen the blow just a little.”
Despite the confusion throughout the entire process, staying on top of your online courses in this new environment will alleviate much of the stress that many are going through right now.
“You want to maintain a daily schedule of committed time for each class,” said Williams. “You can’t just wait till the last minute. You need to be dedicating time every day to your coursework and your learning experience, and that becomes part of your schedule.”
MSU Counseling & Health Services is transitioning towards telemedicine, a medical practice that takes place over the phone for students in need. The clinic is also open for crisis walk-ins and have compiled a list on how to protect yourself during this pandemic.
“I understand why it’s all happening but there’s still a really selfish part of me still wanting things to remain the same,” said Brandon Banta, a senior and Resident Adviser who is graduating in May. “We’re all just doing our best to remain healthy and keep social distancing.”