Check in on Yourself

by Sarah McLaughlin '23
Editor-in-Chief


Campus


Check in on Yourself

Alone Time Is Still Necessary as People Begin to Return to Normal

By Maddie Morkin ’22

 

 Returning to school after a long summer away from friends is often an exciting time filled with happy reunions. 

While friends and classmates settle back into Friartown together, it is also important to remember to take time alone to reflect on your own mental health.

 Last year, COVID-19 swept through Providence College’s campus, forcing students to physically distance themselves from even their closest friends.

 Emotionally, students battled their own stresses regarding the pandemic. Internally, every individual student thought somewhat differently about the virus because of their own personal circumstances—their mental state, living situation, political beliefs, health status of loved ones, personal health issues, etc.  

While every student had to consider these innumerous new pressures, they were also being forced to avoid the physical comfort and company of some of those who they love spending time with the most. 

Friartown felt lonely, but it had to in order to keep people healthy and avoid further spread of COVID-19. Mentally, this was difficult. 

Students struggled, and without being able to connect normally with family and friends, it could feel like everyone was struggling alone.

These necessary considerations and adjustments around COVID-19 took an emotional toll on many people. 

The College saw an opportunity to aid students by implementing sporadic mental health days in the 2021 spring semester.

 On these days, students could spend time catching up on work and relaxing a bit without having to also attend classes. 

These days off acted as a nice break from all the pressure of students’ schoolwork and personal lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 PC is not implementing these same days off into the 2021-2022 academic calendar. Although students will not have the relief of designated mental health days, it is still equally as important to remember to take time to check in on your mental health individually. 

PC students must acknowledge that spending time with friends and being able to be physically present together is equally as taxing as it is exciting for many people.  

After several months of loneliness, trauma, fear, isolation, and stress induced by the COVID-19 virus, it can be easy to become consumed by the normalcy that seems to be somewhat returning. 

Masks are not mandatory in many places, some businesses are back to allowing 100% occupancy, and social gatherings are allowed to exceed the previous limits. 

While some things may appear to be normal, that does not mean that the virus is gone. 

Today’s more lenient COVID-19 world might take away some of the worry caused by the initial shocking spread of the virus, but it is important not to become overwhelmed with the excitement of it all. 

The virus seemingly took a negative toll on everyone’s mental health. 

So, while it will be exciting to be back with friends and spend more time physically together, it is important to step away every once in a while, and be alone to check in on your mental health and the past year. 

Students do not want to feel lonely or distanced from friends again, but taking time every so often to acknowledge what happened and how you  have changed will allow for a better, more comfortable social life now and, eventually, post-pandemic.


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