For most law students, the rapid spread of the Coronavirus has upended student routines nearly overnight. For months I read the news with great sympathy towards communities that were hard-hit by the virus, but never really considered that my own day-to-day life would be heavily impacted. Even when a few cases were confirmed in my state, I still didn’t expect any major changes aside from increased hygienic precautions to be implemented, especially at school.
In a matter of days, school notices of improved hygiene and cleaning precautions turned into notices that all classes would be recorded and available to students who felt they needed to stay home. Only days later, we were notified that classes were no longer to meet in person at all, and instead would either be recorded or conducted via remote conferencing software. This would be ongoing for at least a few weeks as the Coronavirus risk is monitored.
It all felt so sudden, and didn’t even seem real until I actually had to click the download link to put the conference software on my computer. While these changes are necessary to protect the health of communities, I couldn’t help but feel upset that I could no longer attend my classes as usual. My sympathy goes out to all 3Ls whose final semester of law school may be more or less cut short. As an already anxious student, this is certainly a challenge because it’s such a drastic change in routine, and presents what I fear most – the unknown. I had so many concerns. What if I can’t focus as well at home? What if my cat gets in the way all the time? What if I need to print a lot of pages and I can’t go to the library? What will happen during finals if we’re still remote? I’m sure many students feel the same way, and you are not alone! Hopefully, these precautionary measures help to get things under control, so we can go back to business as usual sooner rather than later.
This drastic and sudden change likely won’t be easy for anyone. Professors as well as students are learning new technology and adapting to circumstances that no one could ever have thought necessary. Fortunately, there are things you can do to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances.
Check your Email Frequently
As new developments occur on a near hourly basis, it is likely that new communications will be sent out. These will likely contain important information about school policies and further details about how your classes will be run. Therefore, it is important, now more than ever, that you check your email frequently and carefully read them in their entirety. While you may be getting a lot of information right now, it is crucial to stay on top of it the best you can so that the transition is as smooth as possible.
Check your Computer’s Ability to Handle Technology
Being that most classes will now be using some form of conferencing software to run lectures, now is a good time to download it to your computer and test it out. There are varying features depending on what exactly is being used, so be sure to become familiar with it before you need to use it for class. If you don’t have access to a laptop or internet, get in touch with your school or professor as soon as possible to figure out some sort of arrangement.
Keep your Schedule as Consistent as Possible
Many people still aren’t used to working from home, especially as often as is necessary now. To make the transition smoother, try to keep your schedule as consistent as possible including waking up at the usual time and getting out of your pajamas. Even if you can’t go to school, try to keep a quiet, organized space to do your schoolwork on a consistent schedule.
These are unprecedented times for everyone, but it will pass. Try to stay positive and consistent, and the transition will be much smoother.
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As a finalist(whose exams were due in 2 weeks), I can tell you the anxiety I wake up to every morning. But also trying to keep optimistic and learn from the situation is balancing everything out. Needless to say the world is no constant, and that’s something we have always known but not really given too much thought. Great lessons from ‘who moved my cheese’
We’re all in this together, trying to navigate this new reality. Definitely a good lesson as you mentioned about nothing being constant and needing to adjust. Hang in there!