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Adjusting to a New Normal

Junior Mariah Wilder describes in her own words what it’s like to be an NC State student in the time of COVID-19.

Student Mariah Wilder works on schoolwork at her home desk.
Student Mariah Wilder works on schoolwork at her home desk.

Post contributed by Mariah Wilder, a junior in chemistry.

When I first found out how we were going to be finishing out the semester, I was curious to see how a lot of my science courses and lab would be transferred online. Luckily for me, most of my classes this semester are “flipped,” which means we learn the material outside the classroom either through Moodle or our own methods and use classroom time to work out problems. This structure made it fairly easy for my classes to make the online transition, and we now use Zoom to come together to work out problems as a class.

Making this transition changed my day-to-day schedule. In a sense, I created a 9-5 work schedule for myself so that I’m not up late doing work or studying like I normally would be. I decided to stay in Raleigh at my off-campus apartment just because I know I would not be able to get as much work done if I was home.

One of the main challenges I have had was trying to find the motivation each day to get started because the cycle is never-ending. My new schedule has time in the morning for me to work out or get active in some way to start off my day with good energy. After I eat breakfast, I start on my schoolwork or attend a Zoom class for a couple of hours until lunch. Since I can work remotely with my on-campus job with the College of Sciences Advancement Office, I clock in after I eat and work for an hour or two. I spend the rest of the day doing schoolwork, attending Zoom class and studying until dinnertime.

I have started to use my break times as a way to exercise or do something creative like painting to give my mind and body a break from sitting all day doing work. After I eat dinner, I allow myself to relax for the rest of the evening.

During this time I’ve learned about new resources available to me as an NC State student. Every step of the way with this transition, the university has reached out to let us know what is going on and extend a hand.

Something that’s also really encouraged me is that the community at NC State is not like any other. My friends and I have been able to use Zoom as a way of getting together and socializing. My classmates and I use Zoom or FaceTime to study together and work through problems as if we were in the library together. These platforms have become my new normal for seeing the people I care about and being able to check in and share a few laughs.

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