Student View of Covid-19 - Jazzmin Speziali

Ambassador 2019 JazzminHello, my name is Jazzmin Speziali and I am a senior from Whitehouse, Ohio studying business analytics and intelligence at BGSU. Like you, I have many concerns regarding the implications of Covid-19. I wanted to share this article with you to let you know you’re not alone.

Throughout my college career, I have only taken one online course, a physical education class, where we watched exercise videos and wrote reflection papers. I guess you could say I have never truly experienced a rigorous online course. In addition, I took this class from my campus residence, not my home. My home has always been my respite area and now it is going to be my daily work environment. Typically, I did my course work on campus because being on campus motivates me to get my assignments done. I am concerned that while being home, I will not have adequate self-discipline to timely complete my assignments.

Also, I have had professors that are inept with the learning management system, Canvas. Speaking of technology, I am concerned with my ability to learn new technology and softwares remotely. In my project management class, I am required to download Microsoft Project, which can be complicated for beginners. In the past, I have met face-to-face with professors for assistance with technology matters. I am concerned that I will not be able to learn this technology remotely. Finally, I have worked very hard the past four years and looked forward to my graduation ceremony and celebration. Now, I am saddened to think that these will not occur.

           I am also concerned about my future after graduation. I have been offered an internship with a fortune 500 company beginning May 18, the Monday after my scheduled commencement. Based on current news reports, Covid-19 will most likely still be with us by then. At best, my internship may be delayed because of social distancing. At worst, my internship may be cancelled like the internships of several of my friends.

           Besides disrupting the commencement of my career, I am very concerned about the financial ramifications. I have been responsible for my own tuition and living expenses during college. I have been working as a part time server at Buffalo Wild Wings to pay for college and have been able to avoid incurring student loan debt. Since Buffalo Wild Wings has gone to carry-out only, my position has been eliminated and I no longer have regular income. While I have saved enough money to complete the rest of this semester, shortly thereafter my resources will be exhausted.

           I have been staying with family during the outbreak and have observed their financial struggles, even worrying about filing for bankruptcy. With the stock market crashing, they have lost a considerable amount of their savings and retirement funds. They are also concerned about not being able to pay their mortgage and losing their home. I am sure many families are dealing with similar circumstances.

           While I am currently okay, I am concerned about my mental health over a prolonged period of social distancing. I am an extrovert, so adjusting to a stay-at-home lifestyle has been very challenging for me. I haven’t been able to go out to eat or get a drink at the bar with my friends. I love to travel to new places and try new things. Covid-19 has obliterated my social life for the rest of my senior year as a college student.

           While I have concerns about my mental health, I am young and not worried about my health long-term even if I were to get the virus. I do fear for my grandparent’s health as well as my aunt, who has a weak immune system. It is also saddening to know that our health care workers are spending hours to ensure our community is healthy. There is the possibility that we may run out of the needed resources to ensure everyone is receiving proper care.

           With all of these concerns, how am I coping? I have been going over to my friends’ houses, drinking mimosas while tie dying t-shirts, watching Netflix, reaching out to people I haven’t spoken with in a long time, scrolling through social media, etc. Now that spring break is coming to an end, I have come up with a list of tips and tricks to stay focused on my upcoming online courses. Here is how I plan to stay focused during the Covid-19 pandemic. I would love to hear your ideas as well.

Create a Weekly Plan

You can create a weekly planner via online or on paper. Personally, I use both. Outlook Calendar is a great tool to add any action items to your schedule. Luckily, as a BGSU student we have free access to Outlook calendar, and it can be accessed using our BGSU email. You can also pick up a planner for approximately $5 at your local retailer. These are useful, because you can write down every task you want to accomplish that day and what times you will be completing each task. Also, planners are helpful when it comes to avoiding burnout and disorganization. We can easily get overwhelmed with all our courses now being online. A planner will help you break down your assignments into manageable increments so that it does not seem so intimidating.

Overestimate Time Slots

If you think an assignment will take an hour, I suggest you create a 2-hour time slot in your planner to ensure you are giving yourself enough time. In this instance, you may finish early and can begin a new task earlier.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

The average adult needs approximately 8 hours of sleep. There are many benefits to getting a full night’s rest, including improvement in schoolwork because it helps you retain knowledge easier. I can say from personal experience that sleep helps you keep a clear mind and stay more on task. Try not to oversleep, though, because this also leads to drowsiness and lack of motivation.

Avoid Procrastination

           Many of us (me included) have the mindset of, “I can do it later.” This can create a toxic work ethic. We should all strive to get our work done as soon as possible to ensure enough time is delegated to our studies. Put down your phone, avoid television, and listen to some calming music to get you in the “work zone.”

Seek Help When Needed

           With technology as advanced as it is, we are easily able to Skype/FaceTime our professors when we are struggling with our studies. Do not be afraid to ask your professors for additional help. They should be more than understanding. Transitioning to online classes is stressful for everyone but, if we work together, we will make it through. I hope you find these tips helpful and achieve outstanding grades during this pandemic. Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Have a great rest of your semester and stay Falcon healthy!