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Anyone can attest to the fact that Brown, along with all other college campuses, will look vastly different this fall. There will be no crowded dance floors on Saturday nights or long dining hall lines come Sunday mornings. Since most of our classes will be held over Zoom, we will be spending a lot of this semester within the confines of a dorm or small apartment. And while it’s easy to quickly develop a case of cabin fever, there are plenty of activities that can keep you busy and sane during these unprecedented times! Here are some suggestions...

Exercise! Though most fitness facilities remain closed at this time, your room can serve as a makeshift exercise space. During quarantine, I discovered many free online videos that offer a great, hard workout. Nike Training Club (via the app) offers an incredible collection of workouts for any fitness level, most without the need for any equipment. For a slower, more relaxed vibe, Alo Yoga, the athleisure clothing brand, has a huge variety of yoga, meditation and challenging ab circuits. No matter what form of movement you choose, a quick sweat session will help both your body and your mind.

Facetime a friend (on or off campus). Extra downtime is the perfect opportunity to check in with the people you love. Maybe these friends are far away in different states or timezones, or perhaps they are just living in a neighboring building or residence hall. Either way, set up a zoom call! It’s especially important to stay connected with friends and loved ones during this time of isolation. And, even if you need to keep your distance in person, Zoom and FaceTime allow you to stay close to those around you.

Get organized. Since Brown’s mandatory 14-day quiet period directly follows move-in, this time can be used to get organized in your new space. Hang up your wall decor, neatly unpack your clothes, and make sure your bed is set up to your liking. Also, take this time to tidy up in other ways. For me, this means tackling the tasks that I have been procrastinating. I have 15,000 pictures on my phone, for example, and all of them need to be backed up to my computer and then my iCloud. It’s safe to assume I will be dedicating some lonely free time to this task in the coming days.

Try something new. No plans on a Friday night can seem like a troubling thing to some. However, why not use this time to focus on some self care? Spending these hours learning something new will not only keep you from the bottomless social media scroll, but also offer an opportunity to foster a new skill. I recently learned the basics of knitting, and even though my first scarf doesn’t at all resemble a scarf, I’m going to keep practicing this semester! Whether you find a new show to binge watch, discover some great music, or try your hand at some random art project, a plan-free night won’t be wasted. 

Though spending fourteen days in isolation is certainly not ideal, there are plenty of ways to stay entertained on your own. Happy quarantining!


Maddie is a junior at Brown from Connecticut. She is concentrating in Economics.
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