Distance Learning!

Campuses around the world are shut down until further notice with leaders taking precautions due to COVID-19. All students have one question: What is distance learning? 

Distance learning is essentially instruction away from campus as opposed to face-to-face contact. For those that have never enrolled in an online course, this can be confusing and frustrating. 

Some pros of distance learning include

  • Flexibility- Learn anywhere, at any time!
  • Pacing- Some students catch on quickly, but others need time to understand. Now the choice is yours on how fast or slow you want to learn. 
  • Commitments- Make self-care a priority with distance learning! Face masks while taking a quiz? My new favorite combo.

Here are some ways to alleviate that stress and finish spring semester with a bang:

1)NO RUSH

If you are new to distance learning, take time to get accustomed to this way of receiving information.Scientists believe that there are 3 main types of learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic.Before diving right into studies, try figuring out what type of learner you are. Just because it is online doesn’t mean it will be a walk in the park! With all this new time on our hands try not to cram half a semester’s work into 2 hours.

2)Ask Questions

Your professors are still available when you need them. Although they are also going through their transition period, emails are always open. If you are having IT problems, the IT department on most campuses is open on most campuses to answer your questions.

3)Timing Is Key!

Setting times for course work to be completed could really help create a routine. Self-motivating plays a big role in this. Set an alarm similar to your times before you began to study off campus, and get busy.

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Things to do while in Quarantine

By Tyler Compo

After being inside for a couple of days, I’m sure everyone is starting to go a little stir crazy. It’s easy to get bored sitting around waiting to go back to school or work so I thought I would post a couple of ideas for things to do while you’re stuck inside.

If you’re a student you can use this time to study, catch up on homework and adapt your schedule to online learning. It’s a shame that a lot of school events won’t be happening but at least you are able to learn on your own time. Being able be catch up on sleep is also a nice benefit.

You can also use this time to get to those pesky projects around your house that you’ve been putting off. Make the most out of this time by reorganizing things or rearranging them to give yourself a fresh start.

This also gives us time to spend with our families. Start a family game night or watch movies together. You can find a new series to watch on Netflix or finally finish that on series you’ve been trying to finish.

All in all, if you can keep yourself busy this time inside will fly by and before we know it, we’ll be back to working and being able to safely go outside. If everyone comes together and does what they have to do, we’ll stop the virus together.

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Don’t Take The Easy Way

In the light of hard times, focusing on the positive can be difficult. I am the first to agree with you. Getting swept into negativity is so much easier than looking at negativity in the eyes and smiling your brightest smile. But in times of extreme despair, smiling is the only way we will get through.

 Your birthday may fall into all of the chaos. It is extremely easy to wallow in self-pity. It is so so easy to frown and swear that the world is against you. What isn’t easy however is admitting that your birthday is spent indoors but you won’t let it stop you. It isn’t easy to make your own cake to celebrate with your family. It isn’t easy to accept that all of our loved ones will have to check in via social media or video chats. But accepting the uneasy and embracing the smallest glimmer of happiness is what will keep us going through.

         For the college students who are so overwhelmed with dread. It is easy for them to look at this missed milestone with regret. It is easy to cry out and say how unfair this all is. What isn’t easy is admitting how far you’ve come in life. Admitting that despite the end not happening how we all would like, we still had 4 amazing years. We made memories, spent nights with friends studying and worked so hard to achieve what we have achieved. It isn’t easy to admit that although the celebration has been cut short, we haven’t lost what we were celebrating for. What we have achieved most certainly still deserves to be celebrated and eventually; though not conventional, will come in due time.

         Keep your head up. In times of hardship it is easy to accept defeat and wallow in pity. But we are all stronger than that. We are so much stronger than we ever give ourselves credit for. In a society of people who save hearts, smile at one another and raise beautiful children we are so much stronger than we think. Though we may not feel necessarily strong right now, we will be better off in the end. We will be survivors to hardship. We will be resilient to drastic change. Don’t take the easy way because the hard way is so much more rewarding.

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grateful for it all

With the State of New York at a standstill, our growing boredom can lead to negative thoughts. Taking a shower to get back into pajamas can get a little depressing. In these trying times, it is easy to focus solely on what we lack. Let’s look at the bright side of things. Restaurants are closed, but we can order take out. Social distancing is in effect, but we have social media to connect. New York is on pause, but that doesn’t mean we can’t play  (at home). 

Let’s take a short moment to appreciate the small things in life that can bring the most joy:

  1. The sunrise every morning-The sun rises every morning, without asking for permission. 

What a rebel! Be like the sun today (indoors of course).

  1. Internet access- You have access to so much information at your fingertips! Use it wisely. Only watch the news when necessary and try keeping to positive movies. My favorite movies are Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, and Memoirs of a Geisha. 
  2. My friends and family- For the love, support, the kindness they offer. Without them, life would not be as bright. 
  3. Time- I thought time to rest was only in my dreams. Now there is time to clean out the basement and finally finish that book. Stretch, smile and relax
  4. FaceTime- FaceTime allows us to catch up with friends and even partake in a virtual happy hour! Call up a couple of friends to vent or catch up. For those using Androids, there are numerous applications that allow for group video calls. 

“When you can’t find the sunshine be the sunshine”

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Safe ways to Market your Home during the Pandemic

  • By Tyler Compo

The Corona Virus is scary in many different ways, especially how it has the potential to cancel yearly plans you may have had. One question that I have seen asked a lot during these times is how can I go about selling my home during the virus? How do I market my home and get people to see my house? This may seem like an impossible task, but there are ways you can continue with your house selling plans and have potential customers benefit from this weird time in the market. 

The first important thing to know is that even with a pandemic going on, people still need a place to live and there are still people out there looking for a new home, so don’t let this discourage you. If your house is already up on the market, don’t force or expect potential buyers to come in for an open house. If anyone feels uncomfortable with meeting up for an open house, respect this decision and remember that health is the number one priority at the moment. If your potential buyers are willing to come in for an open house, be sure to properly sanitize everything and have wipes and other cleaning materials ready for them. 

If you are worried about spreading or catching the virus, you can open your house up to virtual tours. This is ultimately the safest way to allow potential buyers into your home. Since the house market is all about showing off your home, showing potential buyers your house via the internet still allows you to have your home exposed to the market without the risk of catching or spreading germs. Virtual tours are similar to looking at houses in google earth on street view but instead you can have a system set up where buyers can look through the house and simulate walking through it. 

Use this stock market crash to your advantage. The downturn in the economy is actually causing a time where buying a house is a lot more affordable. For example, 30 year fixed-rate mortgages have hit rates of around 3.29%. 

Overall, it’s impossible to avoid the hit the housing market and the economy is taking with this virus, but if you stay positive and take the right precautions you should be able to sell your home!

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Staying Sane While Stuck at Home…

Recently we have had no use for planners and alarms! It is easy to lose our routines when there is nothing open to do. Here is a list of what I have been doing to stay busy,active and informed!

1)Podcasts!

Podcasts are great if you want to multitask at home but still stay up to date. My favorite podcast is Encyclopedia Womannica,  5 minutes of information about different incredible women from throughout history. Listening to stories about women who have beat all odds and worked tirelessly to get equality is truly inspirational. Each month has a different theme ranging from warriors to witches of all origins and ages. 

2)Reading!

With school, work, and my internship, reading for leisure seemed like a luxury. Now with all this time, I am going to pick up some books off my shelf and dive in. If you can’t leave the house due to lockdowns, there are always ebooks that you can read on your phone. YouTube also has many free audiobooks if you’d like the entire family to listen. Recently, I have been reading All About Love by bell hooks. hooks’ uses the book to explore the question “What is love?”. We could all use a little bit of love in these unprecedented times.

3)Checking In!

Checking in on family members right now is key! With propaganda on social media and vague government announcements, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A phone call to your mom won’t hurt. The elderly are especially at risk right now. Calling or FaceTiming them is a great way to show you care. Another person to check in on right now is your germaphobe friend. Make sure they are stocked up and have the supplies they need.

4)Binge Watching!

This has to be the least active self-quarantine activity, but the most fun! There are thousands of movie and TV titles to watch on Netflix, Hulu and Disney +. Right now I am tuned into CNN, which probably isn’t the best choice all day. When I finally get my fill of the news, I will be watching The Gilmore Girls! The early 2000s was such an easier time.

Happy Isolating!

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Working from Home

Corona Virus is impacting everyone’s lives differently. My heart goes out to anyone who has the virus or knows somebody with it. No matter who you are, your life is directly being impacted by this virus. I wish the families of those who are infected the best of luck and I am praying for speedy recoveries. I hope everyone who has been temporarily laid off can use this time to not stress out. Personally, my mother has been temporarily laid off from her work and she is using this time to do around the house projects she has been wanting to get done and she is using her time off wisely and trying to keep busy.

For me and a lot of other students, a major change we have been dealing with is having to do online schooling for possibly the remaining of the semester. For many students it seems more like an extended spring break as most of us go back to learning on March 23rd. I wanted to say that yes this will be challenging for everyone because everyone learns differently, but if this is what we have to do to deal with and fight Corona Virus than it’s the least we can do so we do not catch it and spread it to those who are more vulnerable to it than we are.

            Yes, it’s different and I feel for the seniors in high school and college whose certain big events may end up getting cancelled, but I wanted to say that everything will end up being okay. Online learning can be difficult depending on the subject but at the end of the day we must do this for our own safety and for the safety of those around us. It is very weird doing so much classwork at home but after a while you get used to it and it’s nice being able to spend more time with your family while you are still learning and working on schoolwork.

So, don’t think of this as some type of jail time where you’re stuck at home and can’t leave the house. Think of this as a time to relax, spend it with your family and be sure to stay up to date on your academics. This time can be stressful as professors and teachers are trying to update their material and as a student you may not exactly know how the rest of your semester is going to go. Just relax and take a deep breath, everything is going to work out. Everyone should continue working hard and we will all get through this.

  • Tyler Compo

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Change isn’t always easy

Take a moment and breathe. Take a moment and look at the people standing next to you, even if they are 6 feet from you. Take a moment to hug that furry friend cuddled at your feet. Most importantly, take a moment and tell that college student that you are proud of them.

         Every college student began this year with hope and excitement. That freshman who moved into the dorm away from their family for the first time wasn’t expecting their first taste of freedom to be cut so short. That senior who is finishing their studies and wrapping up their resume wasn’t expecting to miss that special moment they have worked hard for.

         Life is changing and we all must accept and change with it however; it doesn’t make it any easier. The high school students who now don’t know where to turn. That employee who was establishing their career is now cut short looking for a job and wondering how they will cover their expenses. Life as we know it has changed so drastically in a matter of days. Everyone’s hopes and dreams are muddled and confused.

Change is extremely difficult and we all cope the best that we can, we still grieve what life could’ve been. We mourn our aspirations and easy way of life. We grieve our easygoing lifestyle we only now realize we took for granted. Take a moment and appreciate the life we have but also take a moment to mourn what we have lost. We will all pull out stronger and more united as a whole but it will take time. We will face anger, depression and denial. We will feel all the ugly stages of grief for something we never thought we’d have to grieve. Take a moment and grieve but don’t dwindle too long. Don’t stop life as we know it. Pick your head up after that brief moment of grief and smile at the sunny days to come.

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A week that changed the world.

Last week changed the lives of millions of people across America. Supermarket shelves are empty, all classes are canceled nationwide and social distancing has Americans stuck at home. COVID-19 has changed our way of life, for the time being. In my case, the disruptions started the day I found out all of the college classes are going to transition to an online format. This news wasn’t brought to my attention through a formal email from my college but from my Instagram feed. I waited 4 hours until the President of Buffalo State sent out an email confirming the changes, but it was still unclear how graduating seniors will walk the stage in May. When I enrolled in college 4 years ago, I never expected such a drastic event to occur. 

A week after the news was announced, it is still not certain if the commencement ceremony that I have been working for all this time will happen. This ceremony is more than just getting my degree and shaking a hand. This is for my family who has supported me the entire way. This is for my nieces to show that girls can do whatever they put their minds to. This is for my ancestors that could have only dreamed of the ability to know how to read. Even though I know that the decisions being made the Governor are for the best, it hurts to know I will lose out on an experience I’ve been looking forward to for years.

There is some light at the end of this tunnel. I am so grateful for all of the experiences and friends I have made these last 4 years. I learned so much about myself being so far from home and skills that I will take with me forever. Additionally, distance learning will allow me to have a longer buffer period from graduation and stepping into the “real world”. I have taken several online classes before, so this transition won’t be as difficult for me. I am even hearing rumors of graduation being online this year! Obviously, it won’t be the same but its better than nothing.  Although my graduation has most likely been taken, my memories will last a lifetime.

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