As I have discussed in previous articles, college students’ mental health has been on a decline ever since quarantine began in early March.
With classes mostly online for the fall semester, students are having to learn how to navigate schoolwork in the middle of a pandemic, election season, and a racial justice movement.
Working from home requires self-discipline and motivation, something that everyone right now seems to be lacking.
“I’ve never taken online courses before, so this semester has definitely been challenging,” a UWF student said. “I have had to learn how to structure my days without needing to physically be somewhere, so laying out my weekdays in planners and to-do lists help me keep track of everything.”
On top of everything else, the panic and stress around late assignments, not submitting the best work, and being aware of the lack of motivation makes procrastination even harder to deal with.
Many students are noticing that their stressors are causing them to miss assignments or fall behind on schoolwork, and once this pattern starts it’s hard to get back on track immediately.
The guilt surrounding the lack of motivation is, in turn, making it even worse.
“One thing I have started doing is being patient with myself,” a UWF student said. “I understand that there are deadlines that I can’t avoid, but I try and be patient when I have an off day or don’t get something done. I also reach out to my professors often and keep them updated on my mental state.”
It is extremely important to remember that everyone at UWF, and every college, are in the same boat and are experiencing similar challenges.
However, many are beginning to feel more adjusted to online school than they were this past summer term and have found ways that make college a little easier.
“Staying connected with students in my class definitely helps keep my motivation up,” a UWF student said. “Communicating with everyone that is required to keep up with the same assignments as me really helps and even going to the local coffee shop to be in a new place.”
“As hard as it is, I really try and get my schoolwork done at the beginning of the week,” a UWF student said. “That way, if I have a rough night or can’t seem to get motivated to finish, it isn’t the night that the assignment is due, and I can take the night for myself.”
Even though everything that has happened this year has been difficult and challenging, I believe that it is helping everyone become more aware of the importance of mental health and more people are slowly drifting away from America’s “hustle culture.”
Before quarantine, hustle culture dominated the business and academic world, making productivity and success the main goal.
Thankfully, I believe that more teachers, professors, businesses, and organizations are being more understanding of students’ and employees’ personal worlds and leaning away from the societal drive for productivity and hustle.
It’s only up from here.