Mentally Preparing to Start School During a Pandemic

Posted: August 25, 2020 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 3 minutes

Prepare for fall semesterSummer break is coming to a close and soon fall semester will be in full swing. Starting a new semester is daunting in and of itself but this year’s students have the added stress of going back to school during a global pandemic.

The uncertainty of the upcoming semester presents a whole new set of challenges and anxieties, but these problems are not without solutions. Here are a few ways that you can mentally prepare to take on the new school year.

Stay Informed

Informing yourself of what changes have been made on campus will help reduce the unknown stress factor. Familiarizing yourself with the steps that Southern Utah University has taken to protect the health of T-Birds can also provide a measure of assurance.

The SUU Open Campus Fall 2020 Semester document lists the procedures and protocols that will be in place upon the return of students to SUU campus. Students are also encouraged to visit the Return to Campus page on the University’s website to stay current on SUU’s plans moving forward and to find answers to any questions or concerns they may have.

Gather Your Supplies

Just as students acquire things like notebooks, highlighters, backpacks and the necessary textbooks to prepare for the start of a new school year, this year T-Birds are advised to prepare additional items like a thermometer, mask and sanitizer.

For those who do not have their own, SUU will provide one washable, reusable face mask. After which, individuals should bring and continue to provide their own face coverings. Having the necessary items, from masks to textbooks, will significantly decrease unnecessary anxiety when the first week of school comes around.

Know Your Schedule

Another way to reduce stress before the start of the semester is to familiarize yourself with your schedule. Previously this included reading course descriptions and making sure you knew when and where your classes were taking place, and making time for any online classes. With the addition of new class delivery systems, should refer to their schedules to find out how their classes will be taught.

This fall, SUU has introduced hybrid and synchronous remote classes. In hybrid classes instruction is delivered through a combination of both remote and in person. Synchronous remote classes will have students meet via videoconferencing at regularly scheduled times. Under the “Section” heading classes will be listed as 01 for face-to-face classes, 01R for synchronous remote classes, 31I for online classes, and 30Y for hybrid classes.

Establish Your Routine

Students often fall into unpredictable eating and sleeping habits over the summer. Establishing regular sleeping routines before the start of the semester will have more than just physical benefits. Having pre-established routines will reduce stress as well as improving overall health in a time when health is so important.

Another habit that would be beneficial come the start of fall semester is regularly taking your temperature and checking in with your body. Practice waking up with enough time before your class to assess your health to avoid realizing you feel sick after you arrive on campus.

SUU faculty have been asked to be flexible with students to help ensure no one who feels ill is forced to come to class. If you are not feeling well, coordinate with your faculty to attend class remotely.


This year will be a new and challenging experience for everyone, just remember that you’re not alone. On-campus resources and services are available in order to keep students, faculty, and the greater community safe. SUU is here to help you succeed!

Tags: Coronavirus

Related Posts