The past few weeks of our lives have been extremely weird and unexpected. The spread of COVID-19 is impacting everyone in different ways, whether that be physically, socially, or emotionally. As college students, many of us have returned to our childhood homes and had to adjust our schedules and daily routines to fit this new “normal.” I don’t know about you, but I tend to keep my home life and college life separate. When I come home for breaks or just for the weekend, I almost never think about schoolwork. Now that we’re home and are forced to continue to meet our deadlines, it’s been difficult to fit school into my home life.
Being confined to our homes can make everyone go a bit stir crazy and finding motivation to do schoolwork can be challenging. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been trying to keep life as normal as possible and here are a few ways that I do.
Establish a Routine
Moving to online classes is something that not many of us are used to. Personally, not physically sitting in a classroom makes it hard for me to focus and retain information. One of the biggest things I try to maintain at home is my routine. Every day I wake up, make a cup of coffee and sit down to watch my lectures. I try to watch my lectures at my scheduled class time to prevent putting them off and to get them out of the way. If you are not a morning person, I suggest scheduling out a block of time to watch your lectures whenever works best for you. Online classes require a lot of self discipline, but establishing a routine can make it easier to tackle.
Another thing I am trying to be conscious of is physical activity. Regardless of your fitness levels, physical activity is important and can improve concentration. Whether you schedule an intense workout, go on a bike ride, or walk your dog, any movement is good. One of the things I miss, that I didn’t realize I would at the time, is walking to class. Now, I will occasionally get up and go on a short walk in the morning to wake myself up and prepare for class. It’s one of the little things that I look forward to that helps quarantine feel somewhat normal. Being active is also a good excuse to get out of the house and get fresh air. Just a simple walk can alleviate stress, boost your mood, and break up a lot of the downtime we’re faced with.
Maintain a Social Life
Not being able to see friends is hard, but we are fortunate enough to have technology that allows us to still communicate. Whether it’s FaceTime or a phone call, stay in touch! Netflix Party is a good option where you can sync up a movie and chat with friends on the side. Online board games are another, where you can play with friends and video chat at the same time! It’s important to maintain a social life during times like these to break up the feeling of isolation.
Appreciate Leisure Time
Your outlook on this whole situation is key. You can either focus on everything you’re missing out on or look on the bright side. College is stressful and balancing everything is extremely hard. Right now, a lot of these stressors have been alleviated and/or postponed. We no longer have to fit work or social outings into our schedules. This gives us a chance to do things we enjoy that we never have time for. It may seem silly, but simply watching Netflix was something I could hardly do during the school year. Now, without as many commitments, I have time to start new shows and catch up on old ones. I also now have more time to devote to my fitness, since some days I could barely squeeze a workout in. Leisure time looks different for everyone, but doing things you enjoy can help pass the time.
Exercise Science major, class of 2021
Hi, I'm Halle! I'm a junior majoring in Exercise Science and working towards two minors in Psychology and Spanish. I'm also on the pre Occupational Therapy track and plan to specialize in pediatrics therapy. Aside from classes, I'm a Hudson and Holland scholar, I work part-time at a daycare in Bloomington and volunteer with HBO. I also recently got accepted to the Health Studies study abroad program in Santiago, Chile this upcoming summer! I love IU and can't wait to share tips and all the random things I've learned with you to hopefully make your college experience better!