Whether you are a first-year student, an upperclassman, or an employee, Dr. Margaret Mbindyo, an advisement coordinator at Millersville University has some tips for you to take this summer so you are prepared for the fall semester.
“The pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another and it has been tough for most people. We are all grieving in some fashion. We need to be sensitized that many people struggled and continue to during the pandemic. Some of us have lost loved ones to the pandemic. Some are not sure of the vaccine. Some lost jobs and others even caught COVID-19. We all went through fear and lost normalcy. As we look forward to returning to campus this fall, we need to relearn how to relate with care and compassion. She adds that “There has to be understanding. We have all been virtual and we need to be patient with each other, genuinely working hard to move us forward as we remember that full normalcy will take time” she says.
“Life was normal before the pandemic, and we interacted with one another without giving much thought to anything. Now we must reskill in our approach to one another. Mbindyo says.
I am a big advocate of debriefing or journaling – about different situations. We can encourage students to journal about their experiences or debrief about this past year in small meetings. Talking and writing have a way of alleviating what we feel inside.” We also need to find meaningful ways of embedding self-care in all that we do.” I encourage calling a meeting with the self to find out how you are truly doing. From there, take serious steps to make amends and nurture the self. Mbindyo adds these mindfulness Strategies:
- Wake up every day with a purpose—Need to use a planner more than ever before
- Eat mindfully—-to have a chance to observe the surrounding and experience the taste of the food
- Notice the environment—to feel the air, shape of leaves, notice small creatures and enjoy the wonders of creation
- Practice being grateful; start a gratitude journal
- Listen purposefully–Avoid distractions.
- Take a break— to reflect, recharge or refocus
- Avoid multitasking—You accomplish more by doing one thing at a time.
“As we look forward to interacting with each other, let us remember that compassion is key,” says Mbindyo, “We have to be compassionate to one another. All of us have gone/are going through something, whether it`s students, faculty, or staff. We must be there for each other. Open a door for someone. Pick something up if someone drops it. Laugh with one another. Look forward with hope, venture out and talk to others and help where possible, we were not created to stay alone or in solitude. We have a reason to be grateful and optimistic as we move forward in unity and determination”. We are family at Millersville and together we can overcome anything. We will bounce back!”