As we adapt and change by embracing distance learning, please rest assured that Vianney Student Services will continue to serve as a resource to students and families. Counselors and learning consultants will be available by email, or if requested, confidential virtual meetings. They will continue to help students with academics, course registration, college planning, and social-emotional health.
We understand the stress and uncertainty that this pandemic has brought to our community. Moving to an online environment will have challenges, and it can feel isolating to students used to daily interactions with their peers and teachers. We also know that some students are going to have additional responsibilities at home, like caring for younger siblings. It is important to remember that people across the globe are facing similar challenges, and we are all going to get through this together. We recommend the tips below to help our students be successful with the transition.
Establish a routine. The experts agree that setting and sticking to a regular schedule is key. Students should get up, pray, eat, do academics, and go to bed at normal times. Consistency and structure can be calming during times of stress. You are still “attending” school even though you’re not on campus.
Remember the importance of sleep, eating healthy, and exercising for health and emotional well-being. Especially with athletics being put on hold, it’s important to continue to be active and get outdoors as much as possible to help manage stress and mental health.
Stay connected virtually. Keep your support network strong, even when you’re only able to call or text friends and family. Socializing plays an important role in regulating your mood and helping you stay grounded. Lean on your classmates as they are likely to have similar questions and concerns. Use Facetime, Skype, or social media (within reason) to support each other.
Avoid letting video games, Netflix, social media, etc. from consuming too much of your time. Doing courses remotely will add to your screen time, so try to limit it when you’re not needing to be online for academics. Too much screen time isn’t good for your brain health, so dedicate time to reading books, going outside, walking your pets, or interacting with your loved ones.
Be sure to interact with your teacher, counselors, learning consultants, and campus ministry. We all are here to support you! The key to success is to stay informed and accept help. Ask your teacher questions and participate as much as you can. Check your email regularly and remain diligent about updates and course content. Ask for help when you’re unsure of expectations, need assistance with coursework, or would like additional support.
Adjust study methods. Consider getting together with other students in virtual study sessions, or even just in a conversation or chat about the course. Tutoring can be done virtually as well. There also are many online tools available, including Khan Academy and IXL Learning. Also, limit distractions at home as much as possible while you’re focusing on your academics.
Stay positive. This is a chance for us all to grow as individuals and as a community. It is important to remember all the things you have to be grateful for and to learn to be compassionate and patient during challenging times. This experience also is an opportunity for you to prepare for online courses you’ll take in college.
Self-care is extremely important. Take this opportunity to examine how you currently care for yourself personally and spiritually. Limit your exposure to the news. Staying informed is important, but following coronavirus news too often can fuel anxiety. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, step away and take a break. That could be by taking a shower, going outside, taking a few deep breaths, calling a friend, saying a prayer, or offering to help a friend or family member.
Use time management skills. It’s important to prioritize your work and limit distractions at home. If possible, find a quiet place at home to complete your work.
Lean on our Savior, Jesus Christ, to provide you peace. Prayer and reading scripture can help us get through challenging times. Though they aren’t currently allowing public masses in STL, you can find a live-streamed or televised mass through this link: https://www.archstl.org/coronavirus.
Distance Learning: 8 Tips to Get Your Child Ready to Learn at Home
Schools Are Closing for Coronavirus. Now What? – New York Times
Supporting Kids During the Coronavirus Crisis - Child Mind Institute
Managing Anxiety & Stress - CDC COVID-19