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Since the beginning of semester, some students have said virtual classes have contributed to a loss in motivation to continue their education. Between home life, work and synchronous and asynchronous classes, some students also said that it’s becoming more and more difficult to even get out of bed.
Claire Gagnon, a sophomore secondary education and history major, said that the only thing motivating her was “the [tuition] bill and my parents disapproving looks.” Caden Casiello, a sophomore psychology major, said that he has “already paid for classes”. VanTung Ho Miss, a sophomore English major, said that “[her] alarm wakes [her] up to reality.”
While the virtual classes have posed students with some difficulties, Casiello said that her classes are flexible in terms of meeting times: “Professors are quite accommodating to challenges,” Casiello said. “Some classes are asynchronous, so if I can’t make it to class for some reason, I can just do the work on my own time.”
According to the Student Affairs and Campus Life website, the University is offering programs to combat students struggling to find the incentive to get out of bed. “Find Your Calm with UMass Meditates” seeks to “Manage stress and cultivate mindfulness.” They offer “weekly guided contemplative sessions and on-demand content.”
The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health and Student Affairs and Campus Life are also providing ways to stay connected.
CoJourn, a goal setting and accountability project, pairs students with each other to foster success. Project Connect is a “five-session peer facilitated group designed to build empathy, connection, and friendship.”
CCPH is offering “Let’s Talk!”, a virtual way for students to connect with CCPH. The website states that they offer “free, friendly zoom sessions with counselor consultants from the Center for CCPH. “Let’s TeleTalk” isn’t formal counseling or mental health treatment. It’s a chance to briefly share what’s on your mind, find support, and get recommendations. No topic’s off-limits.”
Casiello offered hope to students struggling with the semester. “For me, I just try to live my life as if I was on campus. Wake up at 6 a.m. Breakfast, workout as if I’m going to the rec center, go to classes, chat with friends online and in real life — of course keeping social distancing, etcetera — just got to keep a good mindset or you’ll plummet, snowball and just wonder why did I take online classes. Doing this just keeps you in the mindset that you’re still a college student doing all the activities and busy work.”
Alex Genovese can be reached at [email protected] He can be followed on Twitter @alex_genovese1.