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Student Guidance Under COVID-19

Covid Time challenges us all to find ways of learning and flourishing in old and new ways.  Your campus experience will not be the same, and most of us will be learning and teaching online.  This document is intended to offer guidance to Emory students, both undergraduates and graduate as we navigate this challenging pandemic.

If you have encountered challenges at school in the past, we encourage you to preemptively put into place the support and care measures that work best for you.   Under normal circumstances, life can be stressful and life under Covid is certainly stressful.  Please be kind to yourself and consider these things you might want to think about.


Taking good care of yourself must be a primary consideration for you to be successful academically.

Health, both mental and physical, should be your priority.

  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, begin with a virtual assessment by sending a message to the “COVID Assessment Provider” in the student patient portal. Student Health Services (SHS) will review all messages during our working hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily) and provide individualized guidance. 
  • If you have urgent symptoms or questions after hours or over the weekend, call Student Health Services at 404-727-7551 and press “0” for the medical advice line.
  • If you are having chest pain, serious difficulty breathing, or any other type of medical emergency, call 911 or 404-727-6111 on campus. (4/8)
  • If you are living in Atlanta (or Oxford) and another doctor diagnoses you as COVID positive, make sure you notify Student Health through the relevant portal: 
Oxford campus patient portal:

If  SHS diagnoses you with Covid and you are put into isolation, or if you have been told to go into quarantine (as a result of contact tracing), the isolation and quarantine coordinator will fill in the Student of Concern Form . This will send information directly to your academic support office who will reach out to you.

If you have tested positive for Covid somewhere other than SHS, make sure you notify Emory Student Health through the Student Health Portal: and notify your school Covid Academic Liaison (find the CAL for your school here) so that you can get all the academic support you need.

Even if you do not think that you need support, it is really important that you keep in close contact with your advisor. You can reach out to the Covid Academic Liaison or to the academic advising office in your school.

Sometimes it can be hard to find motivation when so much is online and one is not in easy contact with friends.  Here are some of the challenges you might encounter.

  • Where did my motivation for classes go? I just don’t feel like doing anything. When it’s time to get to work, I just don’t want to.
  • I have motivation but can’t seem to plan: I just keep seeing that I have plenty of time to do everything and still am rushing to complete work.
  • I’m at HOME which by definition, is where I don’t do schoolwork since starting college.
  • I don’t see any professors and it is hard to keep myself accountable.
  • There are people struggling all over the world, with illness, death, unemployment, and constant fear, and so my classes seem insignificant right now.
  • I wasn’t feeling all that confident about my academic potential before Remote Learning, and now my fear of failure keeps me avoiding completing assignments and preparing for quizzes or exams.


Part of the solution is recognizing that these are real challenges which are exacerbated by the Covid environment.  Creating regular schedules, getting regular physical exercise, and talking with your friends and faculty members will help to mitigate some of this stress.

We are all recalibrating in real time with this pandemic. While there are challenges in the zoom environment, there are things we can do.

Zooming to Class

It is easy to start feeling disengaged but think of Zoom classes as the beginning of a trajectory of relationships with both your peers and your professor. Things to think about:  How will you enable your peers to find you in the future when we are all together? And how will you show the professor your interest? How do you communicate who you are?

  • First, turn on your camera. It is comforting sometimes to sit behind a blank screen with one’s name, but this is a time to turn it on.
  • Use a background. It can be an Emory one, if you prefer.
  • Make sure to talk and engage. Remember it has been shown that succeeding at university, both as an undergraduate and graduate student primarily depends on being very engaged with academics and having a good connection to a faculty member. So it is really important to see class times as an opportunity to engage with people.
  • When it comes to online learning – whether you are attending classes remotely from campus, the Atlanta area, or anywhere else around the world – it is a good idea to establish a dedicated space to complete your coursework and to create as regular a routine as possible. Getting dressed for the day in “learning clothes” is a good idea. Here is a link to the Emory Canvas site with good suggestions for successful online learning:
  • Keeping to-do lists or using a planner can help you stay on task.
  • To the extent possible (we recognize that circumstances are different) try to create a space free from distractions, cleaned regularly, and have everything you need to learn well (your computer or tablet, charging cords, books, pen or pencil, paper for written notes and activities, and headphones)
  • Reward yourself for your hard work by making time for fun: having gaming or art supplies nearby can provide convenient opportunities to destress after a long class or study session. For ideas about how to find your virtual community you can go here: