How to unplug and readjust to in-person learning and living

By Kaitlin Dunn
Lifestyle Editor

As students return to Washington College and begin another semester, many may be feeling anxious or under-prepared for the upcoming semester. For many students, this will be their first time on campus since the start of the pandemic, and for some, their first time on campus at all.

College is a big transition and almost every student will be dealing with some form of change, whether it be in the social aspect from moving states, or readjusting to the classroom after 18 months on Zoom.

 “Think about what worked for you in remote learning and what didn’t, and then think about what worked in the past in in-person learning for you. Even if remote learning wasn’t your thing, you probably learned something about how you learn — take advantage of that experience,” Hilary Bateman, director of the Office of Academic Skills, said.

Students can also take advantage of resources such as office hours, the Quantitative Skills and Writing Centers, and study groups.

“Take time for yourself, it’s an adjustment. Just because you’ve done in-person learning before (in high school or [in] college) doesn’t mean that transitioning back is easy. Use the counseling center and other support systems to manage that stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns from this tremendous transition. It’s okay to feel stressed, it’s why we have people and a ton of resources to support you,” Bateman said.

For some students, the fear comes not from the transition to the classroom, but rather the changed living situation. 

Many students are sharing a living space with someone else for the first time. Living with roommates often comes with its own set of difficulties. On WC’s Residential Life website, there are tips for living with roommates and resolving conflicts.

Advice includes as establishing a guest policy and making plans regarding common conflicts such as quiet hours and visitors can help alleviate some of the awkward bumps that may arise. 

According to the WC website, students should generally treat their roommates with consideration and set an example for how they want their roommates to behave. While students should not have to change their personalities to mesh with roommates, they should be prepared to make compromises.

However, according to the website, if a student finds that they cannot continue in their current living situation, they should seek out their Resident Assistant for help.

In addition to the change in living space and academics, many students may find themselves struggling to make friends and connections in a post-COVID-19 social environment.

“I want [to say] that if you are nervous about transitioning back to life on campus, rest assured that learning and building a community of friends is much more difficult to do online than it is in person. You have already succeeded at something wildly difficult, so know that you are well-prepared for this school year,” Director of the Writing Center Dr. Rachel Rodriguez said. 

While the transition to on-campus living may be difficult, there are resources available to help smooth out the bumps and make this semester a successful one.

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