A couple of weeks into our off-campus Lovett experience, we sent out a survey to find out how students are responding to our rather unusual situation. Among other things, we asked them about how they’re handling things emotionally; what they’re doing to entertain themselves; and how they’re getting along with family members. Sixty-seven students responded.
On the coronavirus situation, 34.3% recorded having “low-level anxiety a lot of the time, but functioning pretty well.” 26.9% said “it's an inconvenience, but I don’t worry much.” Fortunately, only 3% said that they were in a “constant state of panic about what’s going to happen.”
When it comes to social distancing, Lovett students seem to be doing an okay job at it. 44.8% said that they are “not obsessive, but leaning towards being careful.” 26.9% said they are performing social distancing “as much as possible.” They arc around people while walking, etc. A very small percentage of students (4.5) said they aren’t social distancing at all, and are hanging out with people outside their house.
I know it’s been hard to have complete isolation from everybody except for your family, but don’t forget to go on walks. If you need any other ideas, there are a couple of student-recommended books, shows, movies, and activities that you could test out.
In their time away from the riverbank, many students have learned not to take Lovett for granted. I know I have. I never expected to miss Lovett this much, and I know many people that agree with me as well. As for what aspects of Lovett were most missed, 73% missed hanging out with friends and 13% missed extra-curricular activities. The other 14% varied from having a structured day, to attending class in a classroom.
Since we’ve had to switch to online classes, it’s been quite a struggle keeping motivation, but besides that, it’s run surprisingly smoothly. 79% of students participate in their classes from their desk and 10% participate from their bed. The top two classes that seem to be running the most smoothly according to the survey are Math and English. Ironically, the two classes that seem to be running the least smoothly are Math and Language, so it seems that depending on what math class you are in depends on how it’s going for you.
Of course, online classes have led to some new, and in some cases, awkward, experiences. One student wrote about her “mom coming in yelling while [the student] was in Band;” another recalled when “someone fell over a chair;” and another admitted to “starting to sing while thinking they were on mute.” While that’s unlikely to happen when we get back to school, there’s no shortage of embarrassing things that can happen on campus.
When students were asked what they missed about Lovett that they never expected to miss, the majority of the comments dealt with being in an actual classroom and interacting with teachers and other students. The second most common response was being able to eat lunch with their friends. Many people missed the cafeteria food and being able to spend 45 minutes just discussing the school drama or the sports game that Friday.
The top three school lunches students are missing are orange chicken, circle pizza, and fried ravioli. I do have to agree that those lunches hit the spot after a hard test, and it’s nice to have something new every day. But since students can’t have a salad bar and a hot plate bar at their home, most students have said that their “go-to lunch” is a sandwich. I have to agree, and I’m getting pretty tired of turkey sandwiches every day.
But to keep life interesting, some students recorded some weird snacks that they’ve tried (probably out of boredom). For example? “Baked beans straight out of the can with no utensils,” “cucumber with pimento cheese,” “pop tarts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” “pickles in ranch,” and “grilled cheese covered in hummus.” If you’re willing to try these combinations out, feel free; if not, poke around on the internet for other odd food combinations that people enjoy and that you can r test on any annoying sibling.
There are some unexpected rewards to life at home. Students said they had more time to take stress-breaks and, obviously, hang out with family. As for that, most students rated family-time as a three out of five, with one being a nightmare, and 5 being Very Positive. On the bright side, many students (50%) recorded that they have been “getting more sleep” and have become “more creative on what to do.” Someone wrote that they “learned how to sew” and another said they “discovered a new favorite kind of sandwich.” So, it hasn’t been all that bad.
But, it seems that the most time is spent watching Netflix, TikTok, and YouTube. Most everybody who responded said that they spent most of their time watching certain shows on Netflix and playing video games. I agree, it’s easy to waste time on, and it makes the day go by faster. If you’re looking for any new shows, the recommendations seem to be All-American, Gray’s Anatomy, and Ozark (featuring Lovett alum Madison Thompson). A few groups of students have participated in Netflix Party, which allows a group of people to watch a movie or show at the same time and chat about it. It’s actually really cool and my friend group has started doing one every week, just as another way to keep in contact. One student said they have found and watched a plethora of “what-if videos on YouTube- they ask and answer questions such as “what if the Earth was donut-shaped” or “can we terraform Mars.” I think I’m gonna start watching these videos too...seems quite interesting.
Besides spending time in front of a screen, some students have dyed their hair, learned how to do a flip, and cleaned many rooms. Someone even attempted to make “a wetsuit out of two pairs of socks, leggings, a Nike thermal, and another thin fleece to go swimming (never actually went though because my mom said it was too much laundry to do).” Though you have to imagine that that mom was also happy that her kid was trying to find ways to keep busy.