With the COVID-19 pandemic introducing new health and safety measures like “social distancing” and “Stay-At-Home” ordinances, we are all adjusting to this “new normal.” As students we need to find ways to successfully complete online courses, prioritize our mental well-being and stay connected with friends and family.

Now more than ever, as Passioneers, it is important for us to continue inspiring others. Here are our tips on coping during this unprecedented time:

  1. Focus on yourself. “Exercise this time to rediscover yourself and concentrate on your mental health. In the past, I tended to expect a lot from myself, even during my free time. I’ve learned not to feel pressured to be productive, we aren’t working machines, I am taking this time to relax.” Yumi C., 2018-2019 Recipient
  2. Read. “I have been reading more than ever. I recently finished “The Sun Does Shine” by Anthony Ray Hinton, it’s been a great way to escape the news.” Danielle M., 2019 Recipient
  3. Take advantage of online resources. “I took an online ballet class for free, and it was great for my mental health. It’s important to use this time to appreciate the little things in life.” Lauren A., 2018 Recipient
  4. Learn something new. “Various universities are offering free online courses to non-students. There’s even an option to receive a certificate, by paying for the course. With my extra time, I enrolled in a computer science introduction course.” Gabrielle F., 2016-2019 Recipient
  5. Lessen social media usage. After reading “12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You,” I began distancing myself from social media. Instead, I’m directing my energy towards outreach programs, responding not in fear, but in action.” Rita K., 2017-2019 Recipient
  6. Explore your culture. “I have received compliments for the Mexican huichol earrings I wear, which I find at local markets. One day, I took it upon myself to do further research on the earrings and realized I could create my own. While the process is labor intensive, the outcome is incredibly beautiful, and I feel that much closer to my Mexican heritage.” Leslie D., 2017 & 2019 Recipient
  7. Embrace a different perspective. “As a ceramic artist, I’m adapting to not having access to a studio or creative space. Instead of fixating on the negative of the situation, I adopted a positive approach by working to organize an art exhibition to showcase samplings of my peers’ creations.” Avery P., 2018-2019 Recipient
  8. Jot down your thoughts. “In a journal, write down positive thoughts and express what good things you want to get out of your day. Then, make it happen and have a good day!” Okelo P., 2019 Recipient
  9. Pick up where you left off. “Eighteen months ago, I began a personal blog, but was left unsure of what I wanted to accomplish out of it, I was kind of stuck. I’m taking this quarantine to reconfigure/redesign the site, making it more collaborative for aspiring writers, like myself.” Adilia W., 2017-2019 Recipient
  10. Stay connected. “As an advocate for mental health awareness, I recognize the importance of spreading positive messages during this uncertain time. Relying on my personal experiences, I launched an Instagram page dedicated to messages of love and strength.” Missy M., 2019 Recipient
  11. Lend a helping hand. “High school and college seniors got their last semester’s cut short, so to raise their spirits, I decided to launch a video project for the Class of 2020. Hoping to reach all 50 states, I envision creating short, reflective videos on high school seniors’ experiences and thoughts during the pandemic.” Rafael B., 2019 Recipient
  12. Support local businesses. “Amid small businesses being shut down, my organization is collaborating with New York City restaurants to provide discounted food for those most in need around the area.” Carlos V.D., 2016 & 2019 Recipient

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