6 Tips For Surviving Quarantine With Your Parents

So Covid-19 (a.k.a Coronavirus) has closed your campus down. You’ve packed up all your stuff, you’ve made your trip home, and now you’re back to living with your parents, months earlier than expected, and with plenty of work still to do. This is extremely stressful not only for you, but also for your parents, and tension is bound to build up. Here are some ways to make the best of it:

  1. 1. Make the expectations clear.

    There’s no doubt that you and your parents have some differences in opinion about how you should be spending your time, and you probably have some needs relating to your schoolwork schedule. Before any fights arise, set up some clear boundaries and expectations from both sides: i.e. if your parents need help with chores, decide when you should make time for them, and give your parents your online class schedule so they know when to not disturb you. These conversations let you go into the situation clear-headed and prepared for any tiffs that may arise.

    Lily, McGill ‘22, said her parents came up with a code-word to use when they’re starting to get on each other’s nerves, that way they don’t push it. And as Daniel, Davidson ‘20, advises, make it abundantly clear to your parents (and/or siblings) that your room is your safe space. It's best to make these expectations clear upfront, that way you don't run into arguments on Quarantine Day 16. 

  2. 2. Try to share responsibilities. 

    There’s nothing worse than getting into a screaming match with your parents over who didn’t do the dishes last night. Figure out a plan for any household duties, and if you notice that you haven’t cleaned your room in a while or that the bookshelf is super dusty, maybe take on that task. Swap meal-making roles so it's not just one person cooking each day/night. Especially if your family is self-isolating, going on the offensive will make life much easier.

    Hotel breakfast room service
  3. 3. Set up personal space for yourself. 

    Something that comes with moving back in with your parents, even temporarily, is a huge privacy adjustment. Setting up a space just for you can help you gain some of that privacy and normalcy back. Lily says that she just redecorated her room as a distraction, and to give herself a more focused workspace. Put up some fun pictures of you and your friends, put that pillow that you’ve been sleeping on at school on your bed, and set up your books and study materials on your desk. Many students including Lily and Kate, a University of Oregon '22 student, are joining their families mid-quarantine, so having a safe and engaging space for you to quarantine yourself in is extremely important. Kate says, "Just be extra mindful to keep a bit of distance, and to overemphasize disinfecting yourself after a few days."

  4. 4. Share activities together!

    This whole situation is stressful and depressing stuff, so getting together with your fam and doing things together will help to brighten the mood. Daniel, a Davidson College '20 student, says meals together are a must. Lily is planning a trip to the beach with her parents soon, just to get outside and enjoy nature. “[That will be] therapeutic, even if we’re just watching the ocean move.” You can go on walks (if your city is letting you), play board games, or make some TikToks!

  5. 5. Be respectful and kind. 

    Anna Schultz-Friends Cuddling In Holiday Pajamas

    As much as this situation sucks for you, it sucks for your parents as well. Make sure to do your part to keep spirits light by being kind. Clean without being asked. Write nice notes to brighten your family’s day. Kate says that she and her family took this time to help each other with projects and go through their family's collection of things to pick out donation items. Everyone’s lives are being disrupted, and we should be here for each other as much as we can.

  6. 6. Stay safe. 

    If going home is more than just a nuisance, take necessary precautions and reach out if you need direct help. Your safety should be your top priority, and you shouldn’t ever feel guilty for taking actions to keep yourself alive. If you need any help at home, you can find a comprehensive list of hotlines here.

These are strange times, folks! Anything we can do to make it easier on ourselves (and our families) we should do. Make sure to stay safe, stay sane, wash your hands and self-isolate!