COVID-19: Student Guide to Online Learning and Social Distancing

As you have moved home and begun transitioning to online learning for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, please know that your health and well-being of remains our greatest priority, even though we are not actually on campus together. Our wonderful faculty and staff are working tirelessly to continue to provide the education and resources you need.

SETTING UP PERSONAL LEARNING SPACE

Find a good workstation with multiple seating options. Look for a desk or table for good typing, but also have a more comfortable chair for reading or a change of scenery. Find a space that is well-lit and conducive to focus.   Avoid procrastination by having all the learning tools you need at hand.   Pencils, pens, markers, paper,  and a device charging station are a good start.

Set your alarm. Get dressed. Be intentional. This will help you stay connected, feel more productive, and fight off any dips in your mood.

Play music or ambient sounds to help you focus.  Make sure you are incorporating things that bring you joy!

SOCIALIZATION UNDER SOCIAL DISTANCING

Make sure you see someone’s face every day even during this time!  This means FaceTime or video messenger or a video call or use other social media platforms to virtually see someone everyday to keep connections and not get TOO deep into loneliness. For some of you, you are going to go a little stir crazy with seeing just your family every day…so make sure to reach out to “see” your friends.

ONLINE LEARNING

Under the direction of Provost Aaron Kuecker, our professors are working hard to continue their teaching and support of students in the online environment through Moodle and other platforms. Talk with your professors, if you need to, about the advantages and challenges of this new learning environment.

The Registrar’s Office is open and ready to support students through the links on the Student Portal and through email to registrar@trnty.edu. Connect with us about course registration, graduation requirements, official transcripts, and class schedules.

The Jennie Huizenga Memorial Library staff remains available for support and questions Monday-Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm CDT. You can schedule a virtual reference appointment and e-mail questions to library@trnty.edu

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT

If you are encountering hardware and software issues, our tireless IT staff can help you troubleshoot the problem. We encourage you to email  HelpDesk@trnty.edu with questions and issues .

If you have not requested your mail forwarded to your home, please email mailcenter@trnty.edu with your request.

TUTORING AND MENTORING

Our tutoring and mentoring services  will be going strictly online. Our tutors will utilize their tech savvy to connect with students through the various e-meeting options available to them.

PASTORAL CARE

The Chaplain’s Office and student ministries are ready and willing to offer ongoing support to sustain (and increase!) the spiritual vitality of the community.  For pastoral care concerns, email Pastor Bill.  We hope to post some form of chapel worship but the best design and platform for this is still being explored.  For student led ministries, check the following sites.

Outcry on Instagram:   tccoutcry
Prayer Ministry on Instagram:  tcc_prayerministry
Sunday Night Worship on Youtube:  SNW Trinity
Tuesday Morning Prayer: send prayer items to Pastor Bill

If you would like to be included in the small group support of either Men’s or Women’s Ministry, email Pastor Bill.

COUNSELING SERVICES

Counseling Services is committed to supporting students in light of  the transition with COVID-19. Whenever possible, you can meet with a therapist via a teletherapy model. We can also  help connect you with a local therapist near you. Students, stay tuned to your email and Trinity’s social media for wellness webinars, tips to remain healthy and manage stress, and ways to connect with others on campus. If you have any questions or think therapy might be right for you, email counseling@trnty.edu and somebody will get back to you within 24 hours.

In addition, our counseling services is offering wellness tips so check back weekly here and on our social media!

Set your alarm.
Get dressed.
Be intentional.

Attending to your mental health is especially important during this season! One of the first ways you can do that is to maintain as much routine as you can. This will help you stay connected, feel more productive, and fight off any dips in your mood. Before going to bed each night, create a flexible routine for the next day. This might include setting your alarm, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and planning on specific times where you’ll work on your online coursework. Schedule any down time for those times of day when you typically lose some steam; for many people, that’s in the mid-afternoon. This could be a good time to video chat with a friend or mentor or go outside for a walk. Lastly, show yourself some grace. Suddenly transitioning to online coursework can be challenging! You’ll get better at it with time. If you’re interested in more information, go to https://news.virginia.edu/content/how-protect-your-mental-health-during-quarantine.

Press into your personality. There are some unique ways your personality is well suited for social distancing, as well as ways it might make this season challenging.

On considering her Enneagram type, Counseling Center Intern Carly Hodge shared some of her experience:
“I am an enneagram 7. I love adventure, fun, and joy. Social distancing has been hard for me in that it sometimes makes me feel the opposite of those things: trapped, bored, and sad! Recently, I have been learning a lot about myself by reading and thinking about how I can address those challenges that are specific to my personality type.”

During the pandemic, you might be experiencing a growing sense of worry and anxiety. It’s okay to feel that way, but you don’t have to stay in those feelings! Some practical ways to defend against anxious thoughts are to:

1. Limit your news and social media consumption to specific times of the day
2. Keep a journal of things you are grateful for
3. Memorize and sing a hymn that reminds you of God’s long-standing truths
4. Maintain a routine to keep your mind from wandering too much
5. Share your worries with a close friend

As we head towards the finish line for the spring semester, you might be experiencing thoughts like, “I’m going to fail completely” or “I’ll never be able to do this.” If you have these worries, you’re not alone; it can be normal to experience self-defeating thoughts when you’re stressed. We encourage you to instead practice self-compassion by turning love, acceptance and understanding towards yourself! For your upcoming finals week, every time you experience a self-defeating thought, try speaking to yourself kindly as you would with a close friend.

Physical Wellness Tip 

Our bodies are always working to find “normal,” even in this unusual time. If you’ve developed a new routine, your body has worked to adjust to this new routine and has adapted accordingly. As you head into this last week of classes before exams, try switching up a few of your activities. If you have been running, go for a bike ride instead. If you have been doing yoga, try pilates. Not only will this help strengthen new muscles, it will also help your mind stay fresh!

It can also be easy when developing a new routine for unhealthy habits to emerge. As we head into exams, when we need our mental energy the most, work to eliminate one bad habit you may have let slide during this time. Maybe it’s an unhealthy sleep schedule, or maybe we aren’t eating or drinking the right things.

Energize your body and your mind by eliminating something bad and switching up a small part of your routine. You got this!

Marking special moments is important, including our “goodbyes” and “see you laters.” As we near the end of our spring semester together, it might seem difficult to know how to wrap-up without the typical celebrations, ceremonies, and hugs. Consider special ways that you can connect with a friend, your RA or Area Director, mentors, staff or professors and tell them how much they’ve meant to you this past semester. A hand-written note can go a long way! It’ll be special for the person receiving it, and it’ll be emotionally good for you as well.

Physical Wellness Tip

If you’re having trouble getting into a workout routine, that’s OK! We don’t have to agonize over the perfect workout, we just need to get out and move.

As the days become longer and warmer there are plenty of ways we can move our bodies that don’t feel like a “workout.” Gardening, push mowing, raking, landscaping or wood splitting can elevate your heart rate and help refresh your mind. While you’re soaking up the vitamin D, reflect on a few things you are grateful for. It’s hard to feel stressed when you feel blessed!

As you head into exam week, keep your body active, your mind fresh, and your heart full. You got this!

STUDENT LIFE INFORMATION

The Student Life Office is always here to answer your questions at studentlife@trnty.edu if you need assistance or support during this time.

The Office of Vocation and Career Services is still open to help students with summer jobs, internships, or graduate needs.  Use Handshake to set up virtual appointments or email vocationandcareer@trnty.edu. All the same services are available virtually as they were in person, including resume and cover letter reviews, mock interviews, career and vocation assessments.

Your parents can also reach out to Jeremy Klyn, Director of Alumni and Family Engagement, at 708.239.4854 or  jklyn@trnty.edu  with any questions.