Not-so-remote learning: Student chooses to spend fall term in Stockton
Scout Cooper-Wilson ’22 is pursuing a double major in cultural studies and economics. Wilson’s commitment to her studies and work at University of the Pacific has inspired her to live in Stockton during fall semester.
In March, Cooper-Wilson had to move back to her home state of Washington after Pacific’s housing was closed. She also studied and worked from home throughout summer semester but knew that she wanted get back to Stockton for the fall.
She moved into an off-campus house in Stockton.
“In my mind, it is two different things being at school and at home, even though my family was very respectful,” explained Cooper-Wilson, who is also in Pacific’s prestigious Powell Scholars Program.
Cooper-Wilson has worked to create a support system in Stockton. Besides working in person at Pacific’s Robb Garden, she also works virtually with the School of International Studies and ASuop (the Associated Students at University of the Pacific).
She started at Robb Garden this fall as “a good opportunity to get on campus and still feel connected. My shifts at the garden are some of the best times of my week.”
Cooper-Wilson initially struggled with a feeling of monotony in virtual learning.
“I just felt a lot less productive, even though I’m doing a lot,” Cooper-Wilson said. “I’m very busy, but everything is kind of the same. You don’t have the normal distinguishers. Social and work are all on the computer.”
She has overcome these difficulties through her perseverance and strict organizational routines. Cooper-Wilson has a tip for other Pacific students:
“Stay organized. I use the calendar on my phone and laptop. I put everything on there: talking to friends, working out, classwork. I also have a running to-do list,” she said. “At the start of every week, I divvy it up, so it’s not (feeling) like I have 20 things to do every day of the week.”
Cooper-Wilson also dedicates time to her mental well-being.
“I try to read one book per week. It was a meaningful choice for me to make—an activity with myself and not on a screen,” said Cooper-Wilson, who has made the difficult decision to not go home for Thanksgiving. “I think it’s OK to admit that it’s unsettling and difficult. Now that this has gone on longer, it looks like my college will be changed.”
Cooper-Wilson is working through pandemic-related challenges and encourages her fellow Pacific students to do likewise.
“You can get through it and now is not the time to give up,” she said. “We will be grateful that we pushed through and stayed in school to reach the goals that we have always had.”