Vanessa Pena, director of the Health and Counseling Center, and Andy Lemons, senior director of Recreation and Wellness, share how the global COVID-19 pandemic is impacting all of us and bringing the hilltop together.

Along the way, they offer their best advice to students on how to thrive during this period of uncertainty.

What are some things students can do for themselves during this COVID-19 period while they are at home?

There are multiple things students can do to make this time away from campus bearable. Setting a routine, engaging with your professors and keeping up your physical activity make all the difference. While you were on campus, you probably had some sort of routine. That can still apply even while you’re at home.

If you are having trouble filling in time for your schedule try joining RecWell online fitness classes or sign up for a virtual pen pal. Going for walks or runs while following social distancing guidelines are also great for getting yourself outside and active. 

Virtual Hilltop: How to Live Well SEU

What advice would you give to students and the St. Edward’s University community right now?

Follow all of the guidelines that our state and federal governments have put into place to flatten the curve and help our community stay safe. The more we follow the state and federal guidelines, the faster we can go back to our normal lives. Since this is a new experience for all of us, we must do everything we can to learn from it so we can prevent something like this from occurring in the future. As students, please keep up with campus departments for updates on resources available to you for a successful summer and return to campus in the fall.

How can students get help?

We want students to keep a positive mindset and remember that this isn’t the end. But if you are feeling like you’re in a rut, please contact the Health and Counseling Center, where you can get the help you need to get back to a positive and happy mindset. As a university, we will come from this stronger and better with new knowledge about how remote learning and services can really help our community.  

What have you found to be most challenging during this time?

We are all coping with losses. Those losses could include being away from campus, not having interactions with family and friends, and losing that work- or school-life balance you used to have. We’ve found the best way to cope with these losses is to pivot to a place of gratitude. Think about what you are grateful for — for us, that’s our loved ones, being able to work from home, and feeling blessed to be surrounded by a St. Edward’s community that is supportive and always willing to help each other.