Hillsdale Stu­dents were asked to stay home until March 30 due to the spread of COVID-19. Carmel Kookogey | Col­legian

Life shifted abruptly over spring break as the public grew fearful over the COVID-19 out­break. Though gov­ernment offi­cials and medical experts are making the best pos­sible deci­sions, the sit­u­ation is unprece­dented and chal­lenging to nav­igate. Gov­ernors closed restau­rants and bars, and the Senate just passed a spending bill to mit­igate the damage from the loss of jobs. The economy is expe­ri­encing lows unseen in decades, with drops larger than what we expe­ri­enced in the Great Recession. 

Mean­while, many col­leges across the country have shifted classes online for the rest of the semester, and some have also can­celed com­mencement exer­cises for grad­u­ating seniors. In response to the out­break, Hillsdale College extended break by one week to give pro­fessors time to prepare online courses, which begin March 23. Campus is closed until at least March 30.

While breaks are for adven­tures with friends or catching up with parents and sib­lings halfway through a busy semester — and the college gave stu­dents what feels like an extra week of relax­ation and revelry — we need to keep some sem­blance of nor­malcy. 

It’s important, in this two-week tran­sition between break and (hope­fully) going back to campus, to keep some routine — even if it means working from home in jammies.  

Many pro­fessors have already pro­vided stu­dents with online learning oppor­tu­nities to keep the semester going as smoothly as pos­sible. While relaxing at home with family during an extra week of break, stu­dents should do what they can to keep on track for the semester as online classes are made available.

We don’t have to get out of bed. But we still need to put effort into our classes, espe­cially when pro­fessors have taken the extra time to make learning mate­rials available to us.

Seniors are missing their last weeks of their college career with their friends. Spring ath­letes are missing the rest of their seasons. Pro­fessors are being forced to adjust their lesson plans and lec­tures to an online format, which can take hours of effort. This is not an ideal sit­u­ation, and it’s nowhere near over yet. But gen­er­a­tions of young people before us have been asked to do much more. Doing work from the comfort of our own home isn’t much, but it’s what we are being asked to do. And we should do it well. 

We all must take the nec­essary pre­cau­tions to make sure the sit­u­ation doesn’t get worse. This includes not going back to school. Stu­dents should stay healthy at home, first and foremost. And, sec­ondly, stu­dents should use this time in a bal­anced way, savoring extra moments with family and friends, while also keeping up on schoolwork. 

The semester is more than halfway through, and although it’s tougher than normal, we shouldn’t forget about what we started. Let’s finish strong. If there ever was a time to say it, it’s now: Strength rejoices in the chal­lenge.

Nobody knows exactly what to do right now, so it’s best to stay put, relax, and keep up as best as we can with our classes. Savor the extra time with those you love (inside), do some classwork, and stay healthy.