Many would agree that this has been one of the toughest university semesters we have ever faced. We acknowledge that COVID-19 has contributed to feelings of loneliness, isolation and just missing out on the normal student life experience at Providence. Sometimes remote learning can feel stressful or less than stimulating. It’s hard to go virtual as the lack of in-person participation makes it sometimes feel flat and not so “real.”
Angelle Arinobu, now Acting Director of Student Development, says this is normal and we’re all experiencing these feelings together as we navigate a very different pandemic post-secondary world. It’s important that you know, at Providence, you can always talk to somebody and be heard.
“As a Student Development Department, our vision has been and continues to be for students to grow holistically in their faith, knowledge, wisdom, and participation in healthy community. At times, it is difficult to imagine how this life in community works when we’re physically distanced, but now community is more important than ever and our department is here for you,” explains Angelle.
“Teah, the Grecos and RAs continue to actively care for students in residence while Clark and STUCO are creating new ways for students to connect with one another in meaningful and creative ways online and at a distance.” Angelle emphasizes that, “As always, Student Development is here to pray for you and with you, to meet with you and listen and be present.”
In addition to our residence care, we also provide mental health and counselling services that are available to all our students whether you’re studying on campus or from home. When you contact Angelle, she’ll arrange a time for you to chat about what support you may need and she can set you up with a graduate level counselling student who can meet with you for online counselling. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with Angelle today.
As we finish the fall semester, here are some tips for managing your COVID-19 doldrums and anxiety:
- Avoid excessive exposure to pandemic media coverage
- Keep in touch with your loved ones through regular phone calls, texting and social media
- Create a daily self-care routine (i.e. exercise, healthy diet, etc.)
- Keep yourself busy with games, puzzles, books and movies
- Focus on relaxation techniques (i.e. deep breaths, prayer, nature walks, quiet worship times – check out #worshipthroughit -, etc.)
- Join on Zoom for our regular Prov chapels and prayer times with Dr. Greco. Check out our Prov app for details.
Although it’s easy to be negative about all the pandemic restrictions we’re facing as Manitoba recently moved to critical code red, we need to encourage one another to dream and look forward to the potential for new days and new opportunities ahead.
First year student, Dami Abiona, remains hopeful and ‘says it best’ when reflecting in a recent vlog on her time at Providence. “Even though we have masks on and we have to social distance, the community – or value we have for each other – hasn’t changed or been minimalized,” she confided.
“Prov has already been such a blessing to me. So much has happened this semester. I’ve made amazing friendships. And I’m so excited to see where these next four years take me.”