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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Staying positive on campus during uncertain times


Throughout the first week of the semester, everyone probably had the same thought cycling through their head that made them so excited for the months coming ahead: we’re finally back on campus! 

As a freshman who has never had any on-campus classes before, I knew that I was very ready to learn in an in-person setting on the Loyola campus that I know and love. Although most people are excited to be back on campus though, some of us feel like this semester is either not what we were expecting for our first on-campus semester, or what we wanted our possibly last semester on the Loyola campus to look like. 

As a first year, adjusting to the college life was very hard for me especially under these conditions. When I was moving in, all I could feel was excitement as I was finally beginning my Loyola career on campus! Eventually though, after my parents left and I was completely by myself, I felt lost and lonely. These feelings were just eating me up from the inside and started making me feel sad as I missed everything back home, like my dog Charlie. After the first few days though, I was able to get out of that funk and figure out how exactly to stay positive and remain hopeful during these times!

Throughout CARP (Campus Arrival Restriction Period) here on campus, I found it very hard to keep myself busy as there was almost nothing for me to do with everything closed. I had no homework since classes had not begun, and I didn’t have any friends to talk to on campus since I didn’t know anyone. With all of this piling up, I realized that I had to do one thing to make sure that I didn’t fall into this sadness that was growing over me, and that was to fill my time with new hobbies and adventures. By keeping my schedule full and exciting, I was able to pass time fast. I went on walks around the campus and picked up food from the places that were open. This really helped me clear my mind and just think about preparing for classes. These daily walks helped me become more comfortable here on campus, and seeing that everyone else was wearing their masks also gave me a sense of safety. Getting out of your dorm room can definitely allow you to take your mind off of things that are making you sad and stressing you out. And believe me, they can really do wonders in terms of keeping you upbeat and positive.

Another way I remain hopeful during these times is by making new friends here on the Loyola campus. Throughout the first few days here, I realized that part of the reason why I was so sad was because I had no one to talk to. Eventually, I decided to put myself out there and began talking to people that I knew from my Messina class. Once I took this leap of faith, my world changed as I now had people to confide in and do things with. I realized that being alone during these times can really harm your mental health if you’re someone like me who likes to be around other people.

Being able to talk to friends (while socially distancing, of course) really helped to lift my spirits and showed me why I came to campus in the first place. Having some sense of community allowed me to feel more at home at Loyola. After I meet up with my friends, my feelings of loneliness begin to fade away to the point where I become more excited for the days to come rather than dreading their length. 

In conjunction with the two things above, another way that I was able to remain hopeful was to set goals for myself in college. Setting goals allowed me to work towards long-term achievements while staying busy day-to-day. I have goals as small as completing my homework on time, as well as big goals like making sure I maintain good grades. In terms of COVID-19, I also set goals that I look forward to watching pan out. For example, one of my hopes for this time is to remain on campus for the entirety of the semester. Doing this would mean that I would be able to stay safe and healthy, which is important to everyone at Loyola, on and off campus. Also, the feeling of staying on campus gives me hope that the situation is getting under control.

Even though the first few days proved to be a rollercoaster of emotions for me, I was able to bounce back and become positive about the situation. Although this may not be the college experience I have dreamed of, I was able to push through all the hard things that COVID put in my way. Finding new things to do and try, as well as setting goals for myself, whether

COVID-related or not, definitely allowed me to remain positive here on campus in the hopes that we would be able to experience a somewhat-normal college experience. Even though it may not have been what we expected, at least we were able to be on campus and continue to be involved in the clubs and activities we love. If you’re able to find ways to grapple with the uncertain world around us in this moment, it will be easier to remain positive— I promise!

Featured Image courtesy of Estúdio Bloom via Unsplash

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Staying positive on campus during uncertain times