I bet we all hoped COVID-19 would be a thing of the past by now, because how could something this terrible go on for so long?

Yet, here we are, embarking on another hybrid semester at the University of Wisconsin. As college students, we only have a few years on this campus, and despite feeling time trickle by, we have to make the best of this situation.

While this is another semester without sports, bar hopping or the typical Badger spirit, we can still remain active and enthused during these troubled times by making some adjustments, like wearing a mask whenever leaving your own space. 

Losing the in-person aspect of school creates a very different educational experience as it is hard to stay focused, but there are many things we can do to stay on track.

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The first thing I suggest is to reach out to professors if you need any assistance. They want to help us more than we realize, especially during online learning. Professors have been some of the most supportive resources to students dealing with COVID-19, and they’re available for students attempting to handle school after falling ill.

My next suggestion is to stay active and keep a set routine during the week, as that makes it easier to sit down and focus on schoolwork. Scheduling when to eat and do certain activities is a useful way to remain energized and clear-headed. 

I also urge you to make an effort to get out of your dorm, apartment or house, while practicing social distancing, to get a change of scenery. There are many things you can do on campus, even in the winter, in order to refresh and enjoy the city of Madison.

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One of these activities is taking a walk on the frozen lake, which may be cold, but worth it for the beautiful views. I know personally if I don’t make it a point to go outside, I might unintentionally stay inside for days at a time, a dangerous pattern to fall into. 

It can also be helpful to get together with friends while socially distanced and COVID-safe to do homework together. Being around others helps you to stay positive in the depth of an online semester, especially because you see other people experiencing the same types of stressors as you.

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One of the most important things to do, however, is to get tested regularly. Getting a regular COVID-19 test keeps you updated on your health status and aware of the safety precautions you may have to take. UW has made testing simple with a number of testing sites open around campus, and getting tested twice a week will help you continuously have peace of mind. 

Elizabeth Ellick ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in political science.