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.