Youth Advisor at UpStreet
College in a Pandemic
My senior year may not have been traditional, but I still enjoyed it. I am blessed that I was still able to walk across a stage to accept my diploma, [virtually] deliver a speech, and go to college in-person. There were many lives lost during the pandemic whether it was due to the virus, natural causes, police brutality, or mental health issues. I am grateful for the opportunity to live through and experience college. Throughout both semesters, teachers, staff members, and fellow students acknowledged and provided resources for mental health. I have been able to engage in self-care techniques that were modified for this new chapter in my life.
Friends and Family
It is extremely important to engage with loved ones and people that you are close to in general. The global pandemic definitely shifted my perspective about engaging with others. Calling someone or sending a quick text acts as a safe alternative; however, face to face interaction is something I missed. Before going to The Ohio State University, I have been able to connect with friends via Game Night Zooms or virtual movie nights. I have yet to explore Columbus completely, but I have been able to enjoy myself on campus so far. Social-distance fun can be difficult, but worth a try in order to engage with new people or build friendships. While in Ohio, I have been intentional about interacting with my extended family every couple of weeks via face time, calls, or texts. In addition to going to student org zooms, at least once a week I have dinner, go to the gym, or just take a walk (if it is not too cold) with my group of friends. Another social aspect of my campus life is the Teen Church zooms with my church in Pittsburgh.
Spiritual wellness is a challenge. As a believer in God, I try to maintain accountability from other believers in developing my relationship with God. I attend Teen Church zooms and engage with my church family in small groups. I am also a member of the Delight Women’s Ministry and Christians on Campus student organizations that challenge me to look at God’s Word in different ways. I am working on dedicating time for God alone by praying more, journaling, or reading the Bible. I’m a work in progress and there is always room to grow. I have applied this statement to both my spiritual health and mental health.
The campus food at OSU can be pretty amazing depending on where you go. They give pretty large portions at the dining halls and there is nothing stopping anyone from going to Buckeye Donuts or Insomnia Cookies at any point of the day. Whether it is in my room or at the gym, I make a point to exercise. Sometimes I invite my friends in hopes that we can motivate each other. Exercising can be an escape from homework and the monotony of classes. Other days it doesn’t sound like fun and I take a break. Both are good options, just taking time to work on yourself and challenging yourself in any capacity is a victory.
My first year has not been easy. I have been challenged academically via the workload and socially due to my reserved nature. However, with help from professors, tutoring services, discussions with peers and family members, I have been able to succeed. Moving forward, I have no idea what to expect, which isn’t new; however, I am ecstatic for this upcoming school year and the many years after.