Mentally Preparing to Start School During a Pandemic

Posted: August 13, 2021 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 3 minutes

Mentally prepare for fall semester during the pandemicSummer 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 start school during a pandemic.

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.

SUU is working directly with the Utah State Legislature, Utah System of Higher Education, Utah Department of Health and the Southwest Department of Health to ensure that campus stays safe this fall.

For the most up-to-date information about SUU’s response to COVID-19, visit

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.

Practicing good hygiene can make a big difference in your health and for those around you. The University recommends masking up indoors, washing your hands often, using hand sanitizer and not sharing food, utensils, and drinks.

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, students should refer to their schedules to find out how their classes will be taught.

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.

Remember that class attendance is required. If you are ill or instructed to isolate or quarantine, you may request a faculty member record the class and share it with you, but you may need to provide evidence of your illness.

Ask for Help and Support if You Need It

Your mental health is important to your academic and personal success and the circumstances of the past year can take a toll. It is okay to need and ask for support. At SUU, resources like Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the COVID-19 Survival Guide are here to help all students.


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. The SUU community is here to help you stay safe and succeed!

Tags: Coronavirus

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