Transitions: First Day of School

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By Emily David and Isabella Alouane

pov Emily:

Every time I think about the idea of in-person school, I feel my stomach churn. As an incoming Sophomore at Pace University, it’s hard to remember I’ve had a full year of college given that all my classes were online. Comparably, Isabella is a Junior at New York University, and recently had her first day at in-person school, she felt uneasy.

We recently met up to discuss our anxiety about what the transition from online to in-person will be like. The unknown about how it will feel to sit in a classroom again, how we will acclimate to our surroundings, and staying on top of our new schedule, are questions we continue to ponder. We decided to reach out to our peers. We gained insight into their worries, tips on how to cope, and what they are most excited about this upcoming school year. Needless to say, we now feel more confident and reassured that we have the new tools needed to have a great year!

We each reached out to one of our closest friends in the city, who were kind enough to allocate their words of wisdom and we hope they help you as much as we have benefited from their guidance. 

Read the interviews below:

  • Sacha Walt- Incoming Senior at NYU and Isabella’s roommate 
  • Jen Lizares – Incoming Sophomore at Pace University and Emily’s roommate

How do you feel your peer’s mental health has changed since Covid-19?

“With classes having been online for quite some time I think lots of students’ mental health has been affected poorly, but as we are going back in person, our mental health is still affected with the stress of having to adjust with a life we were told to leave behind.”  

“The pandemic in many ways influenced the mental health of everyone. It was really challenging trying to work around the circumstances and maintain a healthy routine, so for me, there were just constant feelings of uncertainty and an increase in anxiety.”

What have been some useful tips you’ve received when struggling with online school?

“One of the most important things I think is getting a good night’s sleep. Not only is it very helpful, but I think having been and still having online classes periodically is much more tiring so allowing yourself to get a good rest is incredibly important!”

“I personally think the simple things such as having a planner, labeling, and color-coding, etc. have made my online school experience a lot more bearable, just because developing that sort of habit has given me a sense of structuring and sustaining focus.”

How do you feel about going back to school in-person?

“I and I am sure many others feel very stressed or even anxious and feel very overwhelmed with having to re-adjust to an old yet new lifestyle as being in person will still not be the same. Personally, I am also very excited because I felt like online school was not the most fun but I know it will be difficult to adjust.”

“I’m honestly very nervous about it, because it’s been about a year and a couple of months since I’ve been in a “normal” classroom setting. Especially since my first year at Pace University was already heavily impacted by the regulations of COVID-19, I still am in that stage of disquietude where I don’t even know what to expect when I step foot into a college.”

Any advice for students nervous about going in person?

“Having good people surrounding or communicating with people who hold your support system strong is really helpful with nerves, especially talking to students and friends who are in the same boat as you! Also, find something that in person is really exciting for you, I personally, am really excited to meet new people!” 

“Do your best to relax, take deep breaths, and remind yourself that YOU deserve a happy and healthy learning experience just like everyone else! It may be easier said than done but before you never know until you try!”

What are some positives you’ve seen from your peers after going through the pandemic?

“I think for many it’s allowed people to take a step back and focus on yourself and who surrounds you. I feel like many people around me and myself have reevaluated what is good or bad in our personal lives like certain routines or relationships.”

“Although there’s been several effects that the pandemic has left on the mental health of myself and peers, I think it also gave many the opportunity and space to learn more about themselves— regarding how to approach strong emotions and cope with stress, in a way that best fits their needs. Also learning new skills and hobbies have been good for others.”

What are some lessons you’ve learned from the pandemic?

“For me, it was learning to take the time to focus on myself, and actually schedule time in my day to do so!”

“From the pandemic, I think it’s fair to say that every single one of us is more than capable of resilience. Because of how fast all our lives changed in a matter of what felt like seconds, it really showed how adaptable and quick-thinking we could potentially be in a time of adversity.”

Do you think the pandemic will have any lasting effects on how you tackle school going forward?

“I think lots of people’s mental health will be long lasting and stick with many moving forward, which has affected people’s performance and ability to learn in school. “

“I’m still very unsure of how the school will be administered going forward, but the pandemic has definitely gotten me into the habit of always being prepared and attentive to rapid change. I’ve been more focused and on top of things when it comes to school work.”

pov Isabella

While all this advice is more than helpful and brings us at ease, Emily and I find that these products have been beneficial in helping us own our space and adjust to the changes we are experiencing! 


  • Vitruvi Stone Diffuser: As I had my first day of class today, I started my morning by turning on my diffuser. This brought me to begin my day with a smell that soothed me and calmed me from all the stress I was already feeling when I woke up.


  • Jolt Coffee: If there is anything that helps me wake up in the morning it’s coffee. By far one of our favorite days to start the day.
  • Breville Tea Maker: While coffee is not everyone’s favorite in the morning, we also enjoy tremendously the Breville tea maker. It is pretty to the eyes and a stress reliever tea is a great way to start the mornings, allowing you to feel good and conquer your space.


  • Prima Renewal Stone: Personally, I find there is nothing more soothing and relaxing than a message. While getting a full-body one at the start of the day is a little challenging with a busy schedule, a quick face one never hurt anyone. I love making time in my morning for little things that set me up for a better day. This Prima Renewal Gua Sha Stone relieves the tension of stress I clench in my face! 


  • Static Nails: Your appearance matters. I know that sounds initially very vain, but hear me out. For many or some, or at the very least for me, I find I feel the best when I work on both outside and inside. If I look good I feel good and if I feel good I look good – they go hand and hand. One of the first things I did the night before to prepare for my first day of class was giving myself a manicure. Having my nails done not only initially looks good, but they make me feel good! Both the process and the finish results! At EVJ, we love Static Nails, because they are pleasing to the eye, and are also created with innovative techniques to make it simple and easy to use, allowing for an amazing experience. 


  • Know headphones: Being in a big city like New York, Emily and I find that having headphones has helped tremendously! Helps concentration, alone time, and even developing your own space in a space shared by millions! No matter where you are, you have something of your own. For students, it is helpful for doing homework and studying, especially during midterm and finals season. We love the Know headphones that use advanced technology to create quality durable headphones and are super comfy.
  • Headspace App: Sometimes it’s hard to really just take a minute or two or even three for yourself. Headspace really helps guide you and it is customizable to you. Only taking a few minutes of your day and a great app for on the go! 
collage of pictures from new york and various products like diffusers, face stones, and water bottles

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