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Dean DePauw's Tips for Uncertain Times

Photo of Dean DePauw in a black jacket over a striped shirt standing in front of a hedge in Arlington VA
Karen DePauw, Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education (Photo by Erin Williams/Virginia Tech)

On March 21, 2020, as the university, the state, and the nation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with a range of protective measures, such as social distancing and moving instruction online, Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education Karen P. DePauw began offering a series of supportive tips via her Twitter account. Almost every day since, sometimes more than once a day, she has offered encouragement to graduate students and others who follow her on the social media platform. We are collecting those tips here. We will add each new tip as she shares it. You'll always find the most recent tip at the top of the list. 

Uncertain Times Tip #20: Stay connected. Essential operations continue, stay-in-place rules apply, and physical distancing is critical, but we must remain socially connected. See you via "zoom lunches."
Uncertain Times Tip #20
Uncertain Times Tip #19: It takes time. As uncertainty continues, it takes time for us to adjust. Practice patience. You'll know when you're ready to get back into your graduate studies. You got this!
Uncertain Times Tip #19
Uncertain Times Tip #18: Concern and fear. As the crisis continues, we can experience concern and even fear, but we can't let these overwhelm us. Stay calm and collected.
Uncertain Times Tip #18
Uncertain Times Tip #17: YANA. Please keep in ind and perhaps find some comfort that You Are Not Alone (YANA). We are in this together and let's find ways to support, encourage, and assist each other.
Uncertain Times Tip #17
Uncertain Times Tip #16: Academic rhythm. Clearly the university's academic rhythm has been disrupted. Maintain or develop a new academic rhythm that works for you.
Uncertain Times Tip #16
Uncertain Times Tip #15: Enough sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep to refresh your body, mind, and spirit. Critical to maintaining physical and mental wellness, positive attitude, and energy.
Uncertain Times Tip #15
Uncertain Times Tip #14: Stamina. Prepare for and practice prolonged effort for your academic progress. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You got this!
Uncertain Times Tip #14
Uncertain Times Tip #13: Self care. Let's not forget about self care during uncertain times. And remind others as well
Uncertain Times Tip #13
Uncertain Times Tip #12: Honesty. This is a time to be honest with oneself and others, including faculty advisors. Even if you're unsure of exactly what you feel, please talk with colleagues and faculty.
Uncertain Times Tip #12
Uncertain Times Tip #11: Visual contact. Contact with others is crucial now, with physical distance, but not social isolation. Seeing others makes the contact more real and enhances the connection.
Uncertain Times Tip #11
Uncertain Times Tip #10: Time out. It's important to take "time out" from the continuous stream of news and focus on your academic progress. Easier said than done; please give it a try -- small goals begin today.
Uncertain Times Tip #10
Uncertain Times Tip #9: Food access. We must ensure that community members have basic access to food and shelter.
Uncertain Times Tip #9
Uncertain Times Tip #8: Take five. In these stressful times we can sometimes respond too quickly or abruptly without thinking about how our message will be received. Take five before responding.
Uncertain Times Tip #8
Uncertain Times Tip #7: Distraction and focus. COVID-19 is quite a distraction, making it hard to focus on that which must get done. Perhaps we need a distraction to the distraction to focus.
Uncertain Times Tip #7
Uncertain Times Tip #6: As we adjust to life with COVID-19, it is important to continue routines. We can and should establish new ones to provide some structure to our lives. Embrace the new!
Uncertain Times Tip #6
Uncertain Times Tip #5: Facts and updates. Keep yourself informed and up to date with current information. Look for updates on Graduate School FAQs.
Uncertain Times Tip #5
Uncertain Times Tip #4: Develop academic progress plans and discuss with faculty advisors across all disciplines. Faculty are here to help. Thanks!
Uncertain Times Tip #4
Uncertain Times Tip #3: Social distance, but not social isolation. During COVID-19, maintain distance but continue engagement with family, friends and community. Mental healthfulness matters.
Uncertain Times Tip #3
Uncertain Times Tip #2: Accept and plan. Accept the uncertainty & identify ways that you an still move forward with your academic progress and research. Think about alternatives.
Uncertain Times Tip #2
Uncertain Times Tip #1: These are certainly uncertain times. And we need to stay connected. Join me for zoom lunches starting Monday March 23 and connect with the Graduate Community.
Uncertain Times Tip #1