Support beyond the big picture

Mo Juenger is a first-year Philosophy, Politics and the Public and Spanish double major. She is a staff writer for the Newswire from Mason, Ohio.

Supporting your community during quarantine can mean a lot of things.

It’s amazing to support healthcare workers, donate to COVID-19 charities or spread accurate information online. But that macro-level of support isn’t all we should be doing for our communities.

As college students, we entered quarantine in a precarious emotional and social position. Many students lost their homes on and around campus, and with that, their support systems. It’s more important now than ever to demonstrate our tenacity as a Xavier community.

This can be demonstrated through supporting friends, classmates and faculty. We are all equally important members of this community, and we need to let each other know that we aren’t giving up.

We need to text our friends and check in; this seems easy enough, but it’s about more than any message. It’s our duty to tell the people that we love that they are still supported. Physical distance can not mean emotional distance with the people who helped us through hard times on campus.

We need to ask our loved ones if they want to talk. Friendships shouldn’t need to return once quarantine ends; friendships need to be stronger than ever right now and we’ll return to campus a better community if we stay connected during this time.

The classmates who we sat with every day aren’t gone from our lives, even if we no longer see them. Study groups, dinner buddies and mere acquaintances enriched our lives in ways that we couldn’t see, but with our new perspective we can help to support each other academically.

We need to ask each other about our academic struggles, and help one another find resources to cope with the strain of this pandemic on our educational experience. We must continue to drive each other to be the best students we can, even when times are hard.

Faculty members are experiencing the struggles of our new academic situation alongside us, but we rarely stop to think about their difficulties aside from Zoom connection troubles. Professors watch students lose interest in their classes every day, and have little opportunity to reach out to students as they normally could.

That’s why we need to tell our professors that we will keep working. Though our circumstances might be tenuous, we must still establish ourselves as students who care about their work. We must remember why we came to Xavier: to learn. Professors deserve our honesty, including our struggles, our goals and our efforts in their classes.

We can’t stop fighting to be our best selves right now. As Xavier students, we are capable of doing so much good, inside and outside of the classroom.

While the problems of the world loom so large right now, we can’t forget to support our own community emotionally during this time. We need to keep going, to keep surviving and thriving as much as we can every day.

Take an extra step today to let a professor know that you learned a lot from their lecture. Ask a friend how they’re coping with their home life. Let a classmate know that you can study with them this week. And then keep doing that every day until the rest of the semester.

We’re close to the finish line this spring and we have the tools to make our next semester a better environment for all of us. But we have to act today to ensure that we keep our community bonds strong.

Being there for friends, classmates and faculty makes our little world a better place today, but it will improve our next semester tenfold. We deserve to come back to normalcy when we can, and taking steps to ensure the wellbeing of the Xavier community will help us to achieve our own best future.