Coping In College during COVID-19: Tips for helping your student

Back to Parent and Family Updates

Last winter, few people thought that we would be spending weeks, no less months, staying physically distant from friends, loved ones, and professors. 
Since then, quarantine has become a reality for many. Although many people welcome some time alone once in a while, days and weeks of limited social contact and movement can take their toll on our mental health. We have learned some tips from the college students who have already quarantined that may be helpful to those quarantining at Colgate this semester.  
Here are six tips you can share with your student if they are finding quarantine, isolation, or separation from campus challenging. As well, although these tips are focused on students in quarantine, many of them can also be used by students who are studying remotely and feel disconnected from the Colgate campus community during this time.

Keep your eye on the big picture.

In the grand scheme of things, the typical quarantine period of 14 days is a manageable amount of time to employ strict behavior changes to mitigate this public health crisis. If everyone abides by the regulations, quarantining will help allow students to stay on campus for the semester. Staying positive and reminding yourself of why we are doing this is key.

Set a schedule

People crave routines, and using one while in quarantine helps students stay on track.

  • Get up at the same time each day (and get enough sleep). 
  • Take care of hygiene and eating your meals at the same time daily
  • Attend your remote classes and engage in other social activities on-line. 
  • Develop a routine with roommates to help stay in synch
  • Plan fun activities with roommates, like choosing a favorite Netflix show to watch together.

Prepare to be productive

Classes have started, which means learning new subjects. Setting goals and immersing yourself in your work will help you to accomplish them this semester. Use your time to focus on your schoolwork and get ahead if you can. Think of online sessions as a chance to get to know your professors and your classmates — a connection even while physically distant!

Stay active 

Your body needs to move, there are many activities that you can do while in quarantine. Find creative ways to do yoga, stretching, lifting and aerobic activity in your living environment. Students on campus can take advantage of the scheduled physical activity and wellness time.
For all, the campus events calendar promotes all kinds of virtual events, from lectures and trivia nights to virtual religious services and meditation sessions.

Stay connected to others

Although students cannot see many people in-person, the technology available assists them in staying connected to others. Talking to friends and family regularly through text, facetime, Zoom — whether for a quick conversation or perhaps putting together a Netflix party or virtual Trivia game — will boost everyone’s spirits.

Develop a self-reflection exercise

This can be a time of growth and self development. Meditation, journaling, and coherent breathing exercises can all help you learn more about yourself and prepare you for the rest of the year ahead.
LaFrance is director of Colgate’s Counseling and Psychological Services.

Resources For Students 

Counseling Center

Students experiencing mental health issues may consider contacting the Counseling Center to schedule a telehealth appointment with one of our supportive and helpful counselors. They can call 315-228-7385 between 8:30 and 4:30 or schedule a first telehealth appointment online. Virtual group sessions are also available.


Personalized wellness resources through the Shaw Wellness Institute’s online wellness platform. Articles, videos, tips, and information on campus resources help students thrive and succeed.