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College students have a lot to look forward to when arriving on campus: new digs, new people, new schedules, and even new food. However, for many college students, that looks a lot different this year.

Many colleges have adopted hybrid or complete distance learning in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is said to be an extremely contagious virus, and spreading while on campus would be tough to prevent. Somewhere in the ballpark of 100+/- Universities closed down in 2020, moving classes to complete virtual learning. A new working paper estimates that reopening college campuses for in-person instruction has been associated with more than 3,000 additional COVID-19 cases per day in the United States.

For some students, the change is a minor inconvenience or annoyance.

But for students experiencing a death loss, it might feel like the world is ending.

Grief can be all-consuming. And while every person grieves differently, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Many grieving young adults rely on their friends, roommates, and even support groups to keep moving forward. It is also a nice distraction to have to be somewhere – to walk out your door and in nature, across campus to get to classes. A schedule that forces you out of isolation is incredibly cathartic.

If those are taken away by distance learning, how does a grieving young adult actively move forward

Resources and support are already scant for grieving young adults. So when we take away what little help is already there- it can be tough to keep moving. 

Here are some things that have helped other community members during these challenging times. If you are grieving or know someone who is, pick one or share this list:

  • Practice self-care – Self-care does not have to be a manicure. It can be a nap whenever you need one or even a favorite treat.

  • Learn something new – Take up a hobby, enjoy an online class, or get to know a new part of town.

  • Connect with friends and loved ones through phone calls, video conferencing, or social media – technology can be a real help to access needed support. Join the AMF App to find community at your fingertips. It’s FREE.

  • Find ways to give back by volunteering to serve others while social distancing.

  • Tell your story.

Physical distancing won’t last forever, but it might feel like it will. The critical thing to remember is that there are resources out there that can help you.

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