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GUEST COLUMN: Take care of yourself while navigating remote learning


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 (Courtesy Photo | Katie Prebelich)

In a typical year, this point of the semester is already stressful. Exams are here, papers are due, those group project deadlines are fast approaching and schoolwork is piling up. Plus, in a year where things are exceptionally different, this point in the semester can be more difficult than ever before.

Remote classes pose new challenges and opportunities for us as students. While it gives us flexibility to attend class from wherever we choose, it also forces us to learn in ways we aren’t use to. Because the way we are being taught is so different, we have to adapt and change how we approach schooling all together in order to be as successful as before.

One of the most important things to remember with remote learning (and learning in general) is we get out of it what we put into it. Having cameras on and actively engaging with professors helps us to retain information and gives the personal connection in-person classes do. 

I know how much easier it is to turn off your camera and scroll through TikTok, but we pay so much money for these classes. It’s probably worth it to save the scrolling and actively participate to get the most out of them.

I also recognize that screen fatigue is real and present for so many of us - myself included. It is so important to intentionally take time spend time off of screens. In between classes, try and find time to go for a walk while the weather is still nice or just talk to a roommate. 

If our breaks solely consist of more screen time like watching TV or going on social media, the screen fatigue isn’t going to fade. It will get worse. Giving our eyes and brains a break from straining at the screen will help charge us up to be more engaged in class.

Something that isn’t talked about enough is the correlation between mental health and academic success. The two issues are not mutually exclusive and. Most of our mental capacities are much lower than they were this time last year. 

With the pandemic, political tensions and a complete change in our everyday lives, we cannot expect ourselves to be able to handle as much as we did before. I know this time of year is hard for most of us and it’s important to be conscious of our mental wellbeing.

Taking care of ourselves - mentally, physically and emotionally - is the key to being the best students we can be. 

You don’t have to do it alone, though. The counseling center on campus and all of its resources are free to all students. The Student Activity Center is now open as well with an appointment. Your tuition dollars go to fund these resources, so be sure to utilize them when you need them.

This is an overwhelming time for everyone and we are all in this together. If there is anything your student representatives in SGA can do for you, please email sga@cmich.edu.

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