By Mac Pomeroy
In a weird way, something I tend to be known for is not being afraid to ask for help. It is a learned habit. Beyond needing help for my physical struggles, I try to not hold back on admitting something is beyond what I can achieve on my own.
Despite this, I am still stubborn as a bull and can occasionally not realize I need help until it is too late. This has been a recurring theme for me throughout our current way of education.
I am sure it is true for many students when I say classes no longer feel the same. Logging on to a Zoom call, posting to discussion boards, I don’t feel like a college student.
Maybe this is extra difficult for me, given I was online schooled during my last two years of high school and already knew I disliked it. The monotony of staring at the screen, the clicking of the keys on one’s type board filling the air. It never felt real. Deadlines seem both miles away and tomorrow. Teachers seem like they hardly exist.
This feels absolutely nothing like college.
Of course, we are doing this for a reason. We all need to play our part to stay safe during these troubling times. However, if you are like me, it might be time to reach out for help.
One of the worst parts about online classes is how isolating they feel. During Zoom calls it seems as though I am nothing more than a face on the screen. It becomes difficult to connect with peers and reach out to one another. But, it is important to make an effort.
It may seem far more awkward now, but try to message a classmate. Before all this, I found studying with a peer for classes always helped immensely, and the same goes now. It is just much more difficult to achieve.
Reach out to someone from your class who seems approachable. Say hi, ask them if they would mind studying together for the class. From what I have experienced trying this, usually they will be glad to make a friend in the class as well.
If you feel upset and lonely during these times, remember your friends are still there for you. Yes, you should not go to the bar right now and catch up with them, but they are just a phone call or a text message away.
However, if you do struggle with the idea of messaging an unknown student, or you are unsure about reaching out to a friend, Youngstown State University still offers help for their students. Counseling still exists, along with tutoring. You can always reach out to those departments and get help with classes or emotional support.
As much as I wish to be back on campus, sitting in a classroom and listening to the professor drone on and on about classical literature, we are still in this. We are still facing a global pandemic. It requires all of us to take the right steps to stay safe. Things are looking up — my mother recently got the vaccine and is doing quite well — but we have a bit more to go.
Good luck, Penguins. Welcome to spring 2021.