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Column: Guide to navigating school with recent changes due to COVID-19

Students were caught off guard with USC’s recent decision to suspend face-to-face instruction for the rest of the spring semester schedule to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As you prepare for your online classes, here is a brief guide to navigating the last weeks of the semester when it comes to your coursework.

1. Put Your Health First

While it is important to stay on top of coursework, students need to be healthy to do so. By now, everyone has seen the warnings about how important it is to wash our hands. In addition, Melissa Conti, M.M.S., P.A. of Crossroads Medical Associates, advises that students get adequate sleep, stay hydrated, eat solid meals and limit alcohol as ways to stay on top of their health. Additionally, she recommends taking supplements for boosting the immune system. 

“Elderberry tablets are great; I used to rely on those all the time. Zinc is also good,” Conti said. 

2. Don’t Check Out 

As glorious as it may seem, spring break is indeed not forever. Without the structure of physically sitting in a classroom each day, students might find themselves struggling to stay focused on school work.

With all of this free time, it may be beneficial to set aside a certain amount of time each day to dedicate to classwork and studying. In addition, students should make sure to keep in touch with professors and check their school emails and Blackboard accounts regularly. The internet will be the only means of communicating and receiving information related to courses while they are online.

3. Be Prepared, Play it Safe and Communicate

When it comes to both health and coursework, play it safe. Take on the necessary precautions of maintaining and managing good health for the sake of yourself and those around you. 

As for school, lots can be lost in communication when it is all online. The university is facing many changes currently and could be expecting more. If you are unsure of a due date, assignment guideline or anything else, communicate this with your professors.

Students may also find it helpful to communicate online with fellow classmates so they can navigate this transition together. If a class of yours doesn’t already have one, consider using GroupMe. Many people within a class may have similar questions, so it would be beneficial to have a place to share information and keep each other up to date on changes or information from the professor.


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