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Back to School with Isaac Olvera

Isaac graduated Eastside in 2017 and is pursuing his bachelor's degree at Georgetown University.

Having to do almost everything online has been an adjustment, to say the least, but it’s allowed me to realize some changes I need to make in order to have things run smoother. One of the most important things which influences my productivity is the physical setting I’m in; it wasn’t until the middle of the summer that students were allowed to apply to be considered for on-campus housing, but I had already established my plans to live in the adjacent neighborhood of Burleith with my friends since last year.

In general, simply being in D.C. makes me feel more motivated & productive which might be influenced by the Georgetown culture of being busy or having something to do all the time. Having been home since March and experiencing virtual undergrad far from campus, I knew being back in D.C. would be best for me during my last year at Georgetown. In addition to this, I’ve regained my sense of independence and living with my friends who also have class & work further places me in the mindset that I’m back in college.

My first week of classes went well and was standard as it was syllabus week: we mainly discussed the overview of courses, expectations, materials, and so forth. Across all four of my courses, the professors reiterated that not all of the posted curricula is definitive, there may be disruptions along the course of the pandemic, but that they are working to establish content that is inclusive of our differing circumstances and that they are lenient on a number of deadlines and assignments. I strongly advise incoming & continuing students to contact their professors, deans, academic resource center, or financial aid counselor if they feel their needs are not being met since not everyone knows your specific situation and anything from increased testing time to financial aid appeals can make a significant difference in our ability to dedicate time & effort to our academic studies. Aside from that, the physical campus has recently looked deserted and a number of students approved to return have moved-in and continue to shelter in place; we are still able to hold small, socially-distanced gatherings in our residences or open spaces on campus.

Related to routines, whether it be my diet, skincare, exercise, or getting dressed for the day, I’ve found that keeping up with these habits reinforces my mentality of still being in school, having jobs & meetings to attend, and overall, they personally induce a feeling of normalcy which I believe is a high motivating factor for keeping up with the pace of virtual schooling.

Scenery from morning runs and a typical breakfast for Isaac.

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