My formula to coping in COVID-19 as a student

From being the kind of student who is always on point at school, in COVID-19 I was struggling even to remember words to form paragraphs

Kenard Swaby
Kenard Swaby, National Secondary Students’ Council (NSSC)
Kenard Swaby
07 October 2020

From being the kind of student who is always on point at school, in COVID-19 I was struggling even to remember words to form paragraphs.

I found myself not knowing how to do this, not knowing how to do that. Then in online class I would be getting confused feeling like they’re calling my name a little bit too much… I was just really stressing thinking I can’t be like this. So I just sat back when I was feeling pressured, thinking how am I going to actually move forward from this?

A part of it has been developing myself mentally as an individual, but it has also been about us as students helping each other. At one point I was lost and there was this one person who reached out and asked is anyone having a problem? From when I replied “Yes” we sat there and texted for about an hour and went through the entire process until I got to the point where I could help others.

Students helping other students cope

So I made a group, added the persons, got the links, information and notes for everyone who wasn’t in the class  or not admitted because they hadn’t paid the money. My friends didn’t know the same process he went through with me, so I took it upon myself to go through it with them, telling them about the modules, giving them links to their class groups so the others could explain more to them.

For those who reach out to me I try my best to send links, talk with students, send screenshots for certain room entry codes, I even made a couple of groups so I could add them and add the teachers or correspond.

At my school, the Students Union is actually who I see mostly guiding how the online learning is going. They’re the ones actually reaching out to teachers if students are having problems, so there is an aspect where students are actually now guiding the process. You can see that by having students helping to guide and lead the process, education can actually be systematically improved.

Greater role in the education system

If the Education Transformation Commission engages us then students can contribute in a number of ways. For example, we can create tutorials for using the different learning platforms. We could even create videos for teaching life lessons and showing how to apply problem-solving skills in certain situations.

That I think will really assist other youth because they can watch and think, ‘They’re going through this like I am, and this is how they’re doing it and so can I!’

My formula for coping is always to be 10 minutes ahead of my schedule, so when it’s actually time, then I’m already in the mindset, and that boosts my confidence. And I try to make sure my time is filled, with relaxing, playing games but also staying focused by helping around the house. With school starting back, I think it will take me maybe one or two weeks to adjust and catch up with everything.

An immediate past member of the National Secondary Students’ Council (NSSC) and graduate of Jonathan Grant High School in St Catherine, Kenard, aged 19, currently studies business administration at the University of Technology in Kingston. This is part two in a series of blogs by NSSC members sharing their experiences of COVID-19.


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