How CoLA Students Keep Spirits High During the Pandemic

Over the last two years, Woodbury students have overcome great odds to continue their education. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, however, we all notice our nerves are a little strained. Woodbury’s Counseling Services Team understands “how challenging things can be during this unprecedented time of uncertainty and confusion amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Achieving in higher education was already considerably difficult without the added stress of a world health crisis.”

So how are College of Liberal Arts (CoLA) majors keeping up their spirits during the ups and downs of college during COVID? We reached out to three CoLA students to see what they had to say.

Professional Writing major, Nicole Favors

Professional Writing major Nicole Favors battles the feeling that you are reliving the same day over and over by setting aside time from homework to go to the park, visit a bookstore, or sit in a coffee shop. “This really has helped me avoid burnout. For me, changing my setting really has been important! Even if it’s going outside to run an errand or to interact with someone new.” Nicole also finds that reading books helped her learn and expand her mind. Even if you are not a regular reader, she recommends picking up a book in a genre of interest. She says, “I think it’s important to not pressure yourself to read rather just keep it there as an option as something you might want to do!”

Karine Ter-Harutyunyan, a Political Science major, understands how hard it may be for many students to stay motivated. Her biggest personal challenges are getting a good night’s sleep and reducing stress. Karine says she completes her required work and then makes “time for whatever it is that makes me happy. I am a political science student, I currently am enrolled in 18 units, I work full-time, and I make time to go out and have fun!” With distance learning, Karine believes organization is key, and it starts at the beginning of the semester. “Usually after the first class when the professors go over the syllabus, I write all the due dates and color code my courses in my planner to avoid missing deadlines. My planner is digital via GoodNotes, so I can access it on my laptop, iPad, and even on my phone.” Most of all, when things get tough Karine tries to look inward to identify her personal long-term motivation for continuing to focus on her schoolwork. She adds, “For me, I keep myself motivated and always happy by planning for the future and knowing that to achieve my goals and fulfill my full potential, I need to work extra hard today.”

Political Science major, Rachel Steen

Rachel Steen keeps it simple by making time to relax. “If I know I have a lot of things I need to do and lack motivation, I might play a movie while I do the tasks to motivate me. I also love working out, so making the time to really get in a full workout always helps force me to take a rest so I wake up with more energy and less of that burned-out feeling,” she says.

Ruth Burgher-Gibore, MA, LMFT, Woodbury’s Director of Counseling Services, agrees with these approaches. To help us all cope with feelings associated with overwhelming stress, frustration, anxiety, sadness, or other health and wellness related concerns, she suggested these tools:

  • Manage your expectations – be flexible when things take an unexpected turn.
  • Take things at a slower pace to allow yourself time to process. Breathe.
  • Visualize your day – set small, achievable daily goals.
  • Do not compare yourself to others- everyone is different.
  • Reflect on what’s working, what’s not – adjust where needed.
  • Realize you are stronger than you think, exercise healthy cognitive coping daily.

Ruth also says exercising gratitude can be quite powerful. She suggests starting out with a simple self- statement like “I am grateful for today, this brand-new day. Today, I will do my best.”

If you are interested in cognitive coping, including exercises, check out this site.

Woodbury can also help you speak with a mental health professional. Please reach out to the Counseling Services department at [email protected] or 818 252-5237 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced counselors. You may also choose to get started by completing the required intake paperwork here.


Last Updated on February 17, 2022. 

Translate »