In case you need a laugh today, I read a meme that said, “I don’t know about y’all, but I could really go for some precedented times”. I know, I know, we are all tired of the phrase, but the reality is that this school year is definitely uncharted territory. Here in Texas, some schools are opening in person, and others aren’t, but no matter where you fall in the process (hybrid, part-time, full-time, at home), it can be confusing. Here are some tips that can make the next months a little smoother:
-Get your support system in place: Decide who is going to be a part of your “pod”, if you are limiting your circle due to high risk family members or friends, and figure out what boundaries you are comfortable with. Whether that is the level of contact that you had before the virus began, or whether you are only seeing one or two people, it’s really good to know what your family and you need during this time. Remember to use kindness and be gracious with others as you clearly express your needs and listen to the needs of your friends/family.
-Get the supplies you need: You might need different supplies than you did in the past, like blue light blocking glasses for your long days in front of a computer, a file cabinet or folders for organizing papers, headphones, etc. Make sure you have all the chargers, software, and a good printer at your disposal if you are going to be doing a lot of remote learning. Lastly, test your internet speed to make sure you are all equipped before school even begins.
-Talk about your feelings: Everything can feel overwhelming right now, and it’s important to have a place to express your feelings, stress, and emotions. Whether that is a parent, a trusted friend, or a guidance counselor or therapist, we recommend finding one person you can safely confide in (please be careful when communicating to anyone you don’t know online, which we do not recommend, and be sure your usage of the internet is safeguarded from predators). If you have a core group of friends, consider setting up a weekly Zoom meeting to chat!
-Schedule the things you are looking forward to: If you’re a junior or a senior, I know your year may seem scary and unknown, but it’s important to celebrate the things you have been waiting for, for years. Senior photos are of course, one of those amazing moments you should still celebrate. Things like getting dressed up for prom (even if there’s not a traditional prom), and checking into your prospective schools. These are big milestones, celebrated after years of work, and they deserve to still be marked!
This year might be strange, but you are resilient. You will make it through!