By Ottrisha Carter, student
Without a doubt, the coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected the lives of students. While some students are struggling to adjust to online learning, others do not have access to internet service or technological devices. Students are crying out for support either financially or emotionally. Many students are wondering if they would be able to succeed in this new learning environment.
With CSEC and CAPE exams beginning this month, and SEA in August, students remain frustrated, overwhelmed and suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and maybe even suicidal thoughts. However, Our Lady of Good Studies is present with every student who is having difficulty coping, during these very trying times.
Online studies can feel overwhelming at times since students are in control of their studies. However, this new experience of virtual learning can become a more enjoyable, relaxed, and peaceful journey, if students give Our Lady of Good Studies a place in their academic lives. The question is, how can students do this?
One way to include Our Lady in your academic life, is with an image of Mary. Now that all students are at home and some have literally become online students, they can choose the area in their homes where they can function at their best.
For some students, this area might be their study room, prayer room, bedroom, living room, dining room or even kitchen. Students can place a picture of Our Blessed Mother in their study area.
Have you ever felt completely isolated at home while studying? Well, imagine having Our Lady there with you. By looking at Mary’s beautiful face, your negative emotions of loneliness can be transformed into happiness. Instead of thinking that your classmates or friends are not there with you, establish a friendship with Mary.
Another way a student can involve Mary in their academic life is by deepening their relationship with her. Some students experience great difficulty in finding people they can trust. Not all students like the idea of burdening their relatives with their school-related issues. Many students feel more comfortable chatting about their academic struggles with their friends.
These conversations are mostly carried out in person, at school or at university.
Talking about these issues over the phone, through messages, voice calls or video calls can be a bit uncomfortable. Therefore, many students are struggling on their own since they do not have physical access to their teachers or classmates. This is a great opportunity for students to give Our Lady of Good Studies a chance in their academic lives.
Chat with Mary, tell her how you feel and let her become your new study friend. What better friend can you have than Our Lady?
Mary can also become the foundation of a student’s academic life. Many students who have experienced tremendous success and continue to be successful have praised Our Lady for their successes.
For example, my friend Tyler-Marie who lives abroad recently graduated from an American university. She had been pursuing a fully online graduate programme.
After participating in her university’s graduation ceremony virtually, she thanked Our Blessed Mother for being the foundation of her academic life. Tyler-Marie does not have the best medical health and would be ill at times. During her period of studies, she encountered a lot of difficulties with her physical health which then caused her to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks as she continued to worry about assignment deadlines and exams.
However, this did not prevent her from excelling academically because Mary was the foundation of her academic life. Without Mary’s assistance, Tyler-Marie believes that she would not have been able to successfully complete her studies with an exceptional transcript.
According to Tyler-Marie, “If Our Lady could help someone like me who has been through hell and back over the last year, she could help every other student achieve their academic goals”.
In addition, students can devote specific periods of their study timetable to prayer. In other words, try adding prayer to your schedule.
Let’s say for example, before beginning your daily studies, devote at least 15 minutes to praying the rosary. As you pray each Mystery, ask Mary to guide you and help you to get in a frame of mind where you can really concentrate and adapt to this new learning environment.
After taking your breaks, consecrate yourself to Our Lady before resuming your studies. In this way, you are constantly seeking Our Lady’s assistance as you continue your academic studies in isolation.
Don’t allow the coronavirus pandemic to prevent you from achieving your academic goals. Place your academic life in Our Lady’s hands and she will take care of everything for you.
Prayer to Our Lady of Good Studies
O Mary, Seat of Wisdom, so many persons of common intellect have made through your intercession admirable progress in their studies.
I hereby choose you as guardian and patron of my studies.
I humbly ask you to obtain for me the grace of the Holy Spirit, so that from now on I could understand more quickly, retain more readily, and express myself more fluently.
May the example of my life serve to honour you and your Son, Jesus.
Amen. (St Thomas Aquinas)