Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

EDITORIAL: We need to create emotional space in our bedroom-sized campuses


As students, our weeks consisted of classes, social time, study time, organization time, rest time and meals. That’s not the case anymore. With Distance Learning, all separations of time and purpose based on space have blended together. 
The Quad, classroom, Brew/library, residence halls and dining halls are, for many of us, one room or one building now. 
There are no longer boundaries for behavior; you can sign into Zoom classes while half-asleep in bed; you can forget to eat because the same space you use as a kitchen table is now your only desk. Some classes only meet once a week now, while other classes are conducted just through Moodle. Parents might think you’re just fooling around on the Internet instead of meeting with professors. Some of us don’t have access to resources or are in unsafe living situations off-campus. 
This is terrain unlike any we’ve ever encountered together. Taking online classes this way is enough to make anyone feel like they’re floating in space without anything tangible grounding them. 
At the Observer, we understand the frustration and uncertainty of our current situation. But we also urge you (whoever you are in our Augustana community) to practice patience with yourself and others. We all must remember that students aren’t just “taking online classes” — we’re sheltering from a pandemic while trying to get an education and grow into ourselves as young adults. 

Graphic by Thea Gonzales/Co-Editor-in-Chief

It is normal for you to feel hopeless or scared or angry or sad. It’s normal for you not to have the most motivation right now.  Of course, it’s important that you honor your academic obligations and communicate with your professors when you’re struggling. But as we live through the destructive effects of this virus and practice social distancing for an undetermined amount of time, it is equally vital that we honor our emotions as we adapt to change. 
Stop beating yourself up for not being as productive as you were on campus. Stop comparing yourself to Instagram influencers or other students on social media who seem like they have it all together right now. Do your best today and have patience for yourself tomorrow.
Don’t forget that you aren’t the only one affected by the virus, and all the compassion we wish from our professors and family members is something we must be willing to practice in return. 
That being said, we at the Observer encourage you not to self-isolate even though you may be temporarily separated from your loved ones. Mail letters to pen pals, watch movies over FaceTime, go for 15-minute phone call strolls with your friends and pretend you’re “walking to class.” 
We once had a time to meet, a time to work, a time to celebrate, a time to rest. Although our spaces have coalesced into one now, we can still give ourselves the time to feel. 

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EDITORIAL: We need to create emotional space in our bedroom-sized campuses