5 Tips for Transitioning from College to Home Living

These next few weeks undeniably mark a period of widespread transition since virtually all college students have returned home after the spring 2020 semester was cut short by the COVID-19 outbreak. While, just days ago, we were socializing with our friends walking up and down Thayer Street late into the night, most of us are now likely “social-distancing” in our respective homes, surrounded only by immediate family members. Although the quick change to living at home again might be less anxiety inducing than moving back to campus, it certainly nevertheless entails a period of transition. In the midst of a coronavirus-generated quarantine, being confined to your childhood home can feel like a form of punishment – almost as if you’re back to being “grounded” like in middle school. However, here are some tips to ease the transition and keep all of us sane during these trying times. 

1. Be patient.

The constant news updates, parents working from home, and all the kids under one roof can make any household a chaotic and stressful place. It’s easy to let this tone ruin your personal mood, which can lead to the instigation of unnecessary fighting or animosity among family members or friends. Before making comments or acting rudely toward anyone, remember that all of us are in the same boat with practicing social-distancing. Even though the forced family time can be an annoyance, it should also be a time for bonding, not quarreling. 

2. Have a routine.

Experts, and those who have worked-from-home for years, emphasize that establishing a daily routine can make this situation a whole lot less boring and much more productive. It’s easy to fall into the trap of never even changing out of your pajamas, but try to set up a plan for each day when you wake up in the morning. Make sure this includes a shower, some fresh air, movement/exercise and at least one task that will make you feel accomplished. Even if your day is spent watching Netflix, just a fresh pair of sweatpants can make you feel like a new woman while doing so. 

3. Socialize… virtually!

In my mind, the practice of social-distancing seems like cruel and unusual punishment; we left our college community, and, now, are not even allowed to return to our high school community. However, I’ve learned it is possible to feel connected to friends while quarantined. When you would normally drive to someone’s house to hang out, give them a call/FaceTime, instead. While it’s not a perfect replacement for face-to-face interaction, it allows us to socialize safely, and in turn, keeps us sane. So call your college pals, your home friends, and even your grandparents! Trust me, it will make you feel better. 

4. Find some new hobbies.

Art projects, organizing, reading, and knitting are all “hobbies” I’ve picked up in the past week. At school, I often felt “too busy” to get invested in anything besides school, exercise, and social life. However, this extra time has allowed me to try out different activities. Lately, I’ve been feeling more relaxed, creative, and accomplished by attempting new things. When classes begin again, it’s easy to completely abandon pastimes like these. However, there are many hours in a day, so keep at it!

5. Catch up on your “to-do” list.

I keep a running list of to-dos on my phone and add to it on a daily basis. Now is a great time to tackle some of those tasks. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to clean out your closet, or hang some photos on your bedroom walls, or work on that semester-long research project. A“spring break” that consists of two weeks spent social-distancing provides a wonderful opportunity to be productive and cross some of those items off a never-ending list. 

Personally, I was heartbroken to have my freshman year cut short by this pandemic. However, understanding the disastrous effects the virus could have had on the Brown community, I now understand why it is vital to practice quarantining and social-distancing for as long as it is necessary. So, wash your hands, stay safe, stay sane, and stay healthy!