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Oregon State U Project Seeks Pandemic Reflections from Students and Faculty

woman writing in journal

A new project out of Oregon State University is calling for submissions from college students, faculty and staff about how they've coped with the psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contributions to the Bright Side Project can take any form, including essay, meme, flow chart, poetry, art, infographic and music, according to a news announcement.

Responses can cover any or all of the following categories:

  • The Pivot, referring to the period when classes first went online in March 2020;
  • Going Remote, representing the 2020-2021 academic year;
  • The Return, representing fall 2021's return to in-person classes; and
  • Now, characterized by "signs of improvement mixed with ongoing uncertainty as the pandemic continues."

"From a psychological aspect, the more you can express your emotions, the more you can actively cope, the better off you generally are in the long run," said Regan A.R. Gurung, professor and director of OSU's general psychology program and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, in a statement. "The hope is that the Bright Side Project will give contributors the chance to reflect on things that made them happy and then share those with others."

The project is open to entries from students, faculty and staff from any institution nationwide. Submissions will be reviewed by an editorial committee of staff and students; those that align with the project goals will be uploaded to an online public collection. A subset of pieces may also be published in book form. There is no word limit or deadline, and multiple submissions are welcome.

"Whether increasing household plant counts, communing with nature, inviting pets to join the household, or introducing new routines, there are numerous success stories from the pandemic that need to be shared," the project website explained. "Focusing on the experience of college students and faculty and staff in higher education, this collection underscores successful ways of coping in response to pandemic hardships. The pandemic is not over and fears and hardships still abound. We hope this collection can inspire and provide hope."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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