Things That Matter

If You’ve Been Struggling with College During COVID, These Tips Might Help You Cope

Covid-19 is changing the all-American college experience. There is no more late-night munchie runs at 3 a.m., house party hopping, or late-night cramming with friends in the library. The spirit has completely changed, but all for the greater good of keeping others healthy and safe.

Still, that doesn’t discredit the fact that we are losing the value of our education by it moving online. We’re no longer able to use the campus as a resource to help fuel ourselves academically or socially. We long for the day we are able to build a sense of community again.

Here’s how Covid has changed the college experience and what you can do to make it better.

The Move to Online

Credit: @gph/ Giphy

Being a college senior myself, remote learning has taken a huge toll on me. My days are lengthened with logging on to Zoom for everything, and yes- even my pair of blue-light glasses can’t keep me focused.

I find myself eagerly waiting for my professor to say “That’s it for today everyone,” and sometimes can only hang in there for half of the time. I’m constantly left feeling anxious and frustrated.

I was sure that universities would begin to understand how different students cope with a very tricky, unstable, and scary situation at hand. However, I’ve experienced the opposite. An overwhelming influx of papers, online assignments, and weekly quizzes quickly presented themselves. Not to mention more group projects. Weekends soon became “working-weekends” and with assignments piling up I truly felt like I was drowning.

It wasn’t long until I had to think for myself. How am I going to cope with the now? I needed to figure out the best plan I could to navigate something out of mine and everyone else’s control. If you too are struggling during this time whether it be financially, academically, emotionally, etc, please know you are not alone. Below are some resources that might help each day go by just a little better than the last, and hopefully give you peace of mind.

Finances:

COVID Emergency Assistance Funds

The last thing that we want to do is pay full price for online learning, especially during a pandemic. So check with your college or university about COVID Emergency Assistance/Relief Funds. This has greatly helped students access resources such as food, housing, course materials, technology, and affordable health care. In some cases, they even pay you to be at home. Additionally, FAFSA is allowing students to get even more aid granted despite if they were already given their semester disbursement- so it’s definitely worth checking out.

Visit your official college website & https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa for more information.

Scholarships

Trust me, we all could use a little help in this area. Luckily, Tuition Funding Sources’s (TFS) database connects students to monthly scholarships based on needs, wants, and qualifications. They have highlighted “scholarships of the day” as well as career aptitude tests that can help your search become even more personal.

Businesses are also partnering up right now to help students around the world get the support they need to further their education. The McDonald’s® HACER ® National Scholarship assists Latino students to be front and center and attain the education they deserve. In 2019, more than $500,000 was granted to 30 students in order to help finance tuition costs. And better yet, The 2020-2021 application period just opened October 5th.

For more information on how to apply for the listed scholarships, visit https://www.tuitionfundingsources.com  or https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/community/hacer.html .

Mental Health & Well-Being:

Headspace

This app is a lifesaver. From brief wellbeing exercises to longer guided meditation, Headspace is offering free downloadable tracks that can help you ease your mind at home or on-the-go anywhere and anytime. Tune in when you need a break or to re-center yourself.  

Visit https://www.headspace.com/covid-19 to see what tracks are available now.

Podcasts

Sometimes hearing someone speak and having an honest conversation about a certain topic is really fun to engage with. It provides us another perspective other than their are own, and it’s interesting to get a glimpse at the way other people live. Taking 30 minutes out of your day to listen to an episode can help ease some stress, reminding you that others are by your side who, too, have felt the same chaos.

For a great selection of podcasts, search Spotify or Apple Podcasts to start the search on some good series.

Be Patient with Yourself

Credit: @nbc/ Giphy

Remember, this pandemic is not forever although it might feel like it right now. Do not feel like you are responsible for the frustration you are undergoing. Take some time to care for yourself and take a step back from the craziness of the world to remind yourself that things will get better.

Talk to a friend, counselor, or therapist if you find yourself in a crisis more than you can bear. Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 service to anyone who needs some support and wants to speak with someone. What’s nice is you have the option to either call or text, depending on what’s most comfortable and effective for you. 

Visit https://www.crisistextline.org to get free 24/7 support whenever, wherever. 

Other Tips

Zoom Party

Credit: @snl / Giphy

Get-togethers are looking a lot different right now, but you can still plan an event that will keep all of your friends together. Zoom can be a wonderful platform not only for the classroom, but to catch up with everyone. Plan a “Whine Night” where you talk about all things life or vibe to shared music. Your university should give you an unlimited personal meeting room link so you don’t have to pay a dime for the time.

Virtual Social Hours

Many universities are offering virtual social hours so students can connect to each other and get more of a sense of community as we navigate through the days. Check online on your school’s website to see what types of activities they are offering students at this time, and what events might fit your personal or career interests.  You never know who you might meet!

Find Your Hobby 

Having a go-to hobby during this time can give you something to look forward to and be an escape from all the ongoing chaos. Look into things like surfing, socially distanced yoga classes, cooking, or hiking to get you feeling joyful and inspired. Try one thing out and see if you like it, and if not who says you can’t just move to the next thing? You’ll be surprised at what you discover will be your next “thing.”


The pandemic has definitely made college life and life, in general, a whole lot harder. Know that it is completely normal to feel mad, sad, scared, or anxious about what’s to come. With these tips, my only wish is that they help you cope just a bit more as they have for me. Together we will get through this, slowly but surely.

READ: A 13-Year-Old Student Just Became A California College’s Youngest Graduate

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Pope Francis Is Over All You People Complaining About Covid Restrictions So Do Better

Things That Matter

Pope Francis Is Over All You People Complaining About Covid Restrictions So Do Better

Vatican Pool - Corbis / Getty Image

Covid numbers are out of control in the U.S. Numbers are increasing in every state and the holiday weekend is expected to make the crisis worse. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cannot limit religious gatherings. Pope Francis is really over people complaining about necessary Covid restrictions.

Pope Francis is really over everyone complaining about life-saving Covid restrictions.

We have all seen the videos of people protesting against Covid restrictions. These restrictions are created to protect public health and slow the spread of the virus. Following the guidelines and restrictions is a simple matter that can let the rest of us get back to some kind of normal faster. Ignoring the guidelines and restrictions is what prolongs the lockdowns because of the idea that your personal choices are more important than everyone’s health.

Pope Francis wrote an op-ed for the New York Times calling out the people fighting the restrictions.

“Yet some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions — as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom,” Pope Francis wrote in his op-ed. “Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate.”

The pope made it clear that disregarding the restrictions is an act of selfishness.

Pope Francis’ op-ed comes one day after the Supreme Court sided with religious groups complaining about New York’s restrictions. The newly conservative court responded as expected. Many are pointing to Amy Coney Barrett as someone who followed their religion over the good of the American public, as many predicted she would.

“If we are to come out of this crisis less selfish than when we went in, we have to let ourselves be touched by others’ pain,” Pope Francis wrote in his op-ed for The New York Times. “There’s a line in Friedrich Hölderlin’s “Hyperion” that speaks to me, about how the danger that threatens in a crisis is never total; there’s always a way out: “Where the danger is, also grows the saving power.” That’s the genius in the human story: There’s always a way to escape destruction. Where humankind has to act is precisely there, in the threat itself; that’s where the door opens.”

Pope Francis added: “This is a moment to dream big, to rethink our priorities — what we value, what we want, what we seek — and to commit to act in our daily life on what we have dreamed of.”

The pope’s willingness to speak out on issues is earning him respect from people around the world.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike are celebrating Pope Francis for his willingness to call out the failures he sees in our governments. Pope Francis has also been pivotal in pushing the Catholic church forward in accepting the LGBTQ+ community. It seems like Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court has energized Pope Francis’ push to make the Catholic church more accepting and believe in science.

Covid has given the pope a perfect time to talk about true religious values like caring for your neighbor and he is using it.

READ: Pope Francis Comes Out In Support Of Civil Unions For Same-Sex Couples

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Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

Culture

Hands-Free Cholula Dispensers Have Become a Thing In Restaurants Because of COVID-19

Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

It is a truth universally acknowledged that 2020 has been, well, the year from hell. But, like with any terrible events, there has been a few silver linings. More flexible work schedules. More alone time with family members.

And now, the mother of all silver linings: hands-free Cholula dispensers.

No, we’re not kidding. Earlier this month, the cult-favorite hot sauce brand announced that they have partnered with appliance tech company simplehuman to develop a hands-free dispenser for restaurants. Per Cholula, the invention was made in response to the need for a safer way to dispense hot sauce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When restaurant operators began removing Cholula bottles from tabletops amid the pandemic, we needed to develop a solution that could adapt to their new environment,” said Cholula’s CEO, Maura Mottolese, in a press release. “The collaboration between simplehuman and Cholula combines the best in technology and taste to revolutionize the condiment station to meet the needs of the customer and the foodservice industry in the ever-changing landscape that is 2020.”

The invention is–dare we say–genius.

Various video demonstrations of the gadget show that a user need only to hover the hand over the Cholula dispenser to be gifted with a glorious stream of hot sauce coming out of its little faucet.

Additionally, the company revealed that the Cholula dispensers would be available for private commercial purchase. According to Cholula, the Touch-Free dispensers will be available for a limited time on Cholula’s website–just in time for the holidays.

“Cholula diehard consumers will have a rare opportunity to purchase a limited number of Cholula x simplehuman Touch-Free Dispensers, the essential gift for contactless holiday meals, starting December 1, 2020 at www.Cholula.com/handsfree,” wrote the hot sauce brand in a press release.

“Optimized for the best saucing experience, the flash sale promotion, priced at $130, includes a Cholula x simplehuman Touch-Free Dispenser PLUS a half-gallon jug of Cholula Original and free shipping.”

Cholula revealed that 100% of the proceeds will go towards the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which is a “nonprofit formed by notable chefs like Tom Colicchio to save independent restaurants affected by COVID-19.”

Naturally, people are hyped that Cholula is selling the hands-free hot sauce dispenser to customers.

This is the type of gift that keeps on giving.

Honestly, “hot sauce innovation” is exactly the type of innovation we need coming out of 2020.

TBH, we deserve good things right now. Thank you Cholula.

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