Readjusting to Campus Life Made Simple: 3 Steps for Transition
A lot has changed since last year when we heard the term “lockdown” for the first time. After a roller coaster year of difficulties, adaptations, complexities, fears and hopes, Concordia has announced its plans for the upcoming fall term.
If you’re unsure about how best to navigate the return to in-person classes, these three insights can help you to ensure a safe transition to campus life.
1. Remember it is fine to feel different
There is no doubt that we have different feelings when it comes to heading back to campuses after a long time. Whether you are keen or apprehensive to return in person again, everyone’s feelings and emotions are justified and valid.
We expect to be back on campus soon - to greet each other, join in-person meetings, work in labs or study in reading rooms. Whatever the case, it is important to keep in mind that we each perceive situations differently and our individual situations are not the same. The return to campus will impact us differently, so it’s crucial to understand our own and other people’s feelings, and be mindful that all these feelings are justified.
Our body and mind are struggling to overcome what researchers are now calling the “Lockdown Fatigue.” For a long period of time, we were restricted in what we could do, and our daily routines were adapted to stay predominantly at home. We will all be returning to a more sociable life on campus, but our challenges are not always one and the same, and that is fine.
2. Give yourself time
Many of us feel resistant to return to pre-pandemic life for good reason; it is another new situation with unclear expectations, on top of the continuous adjustment we have experienced during the past year. You might feel a disconnection with campus or you may find the familiarity of campus comforting and motivating. Similary, while remote learning has been helpful to some students, for others it has been fustrating. There are also those individuals with a health condition. Analysing and adjusting to these changes take time.
Regardless of each individual's personal situation, we all share a common experience: we are facing a significant change again. It is normal to feel a lot of different emotions at once because processing major changes takes time and it differs from person to person.
3. Keep the situation in perspective
A year ago, we were in lockdown feeling uncertain about the future. We were overwhelmed with all the new online tools that we had to learn and asking ourselves if we would ever get out of this lockdown situation. More than a year down the road, we did face the unknowns of a pandemic, so whatever happens, we will adapt to this new reality too.
This is not the first change we are experiencing in life and it will not be the last. Many people spend a lot of energy avoiding change, but change is inevitable. At some point in life, we all deal with unexpected changes. It might be a job change, the end of a relationship or the start of life in a new country. Change is never easy but know that you are not alone! Concordia offers a wide range of free services and tools to all its students to help them to transition into a new on campus life.
Change is also a learning opportunity. Now is a good time to reflect on what you have learned this past year and build new habits. The pandemic has taught us countless lessons. We saw how much humans are adaptable. Not only did we have to adapt to a new lifestyle, but we also needed to restructure our steps toward academic and personal success. The pandemic has truly highlighted the importance of awareness and education. We befriended technology and learned its role and limitations. We also realized the value of life more than ever and we found the power of a positive perspective. We are now mindful of the fact that life is not a given and we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves.
Need a friendly space to share your concerns and
talk about returning to campus?
Grad Chat meetings are the place to go!
GradProSkills hosts GradChat weekly to help Concordia graduate students to one another and to be part of a friendly community.