My Social Distancing Experience (So Far)

When we first found out that we wouldn’t be coming back to school for the rest of the semester, I was devastated. Just a few days into being home for spring break, I was already excited to get back to school and complete the last quarter of my freshman year. I looked forward to spending time with new friends, exploring Boston, seeing events and projects that I had spent the whole year working on come to fruition, taking part in sorority events, and more. So finding out that all of that would be postponed for at least another six months felt like a huge disruption. 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

As the situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to change, the first priority of the University continues to be the health and well-being of our community. With this in mind, Boston University has decided to make the following changes: 1.) Boston University will extend remote teaching and learning through the end of the spring semester for its 35,000 students and 4,000 faculty. 2.) Residence Halls will close starting Sunday, March 22, to try and help contain COVID-19. However, students with extenuating circumstances will be asked to submit a request for waivers so the University can evaluate their needs and provide suitable housing. 3.) The University is finalizing details for students to receive either credits or refunds on their dining and residence fees. 4.) BU will let students and families know about the status of Commencement as soon as a final decision is made. For more information see the swipe up link on our stories or the link in bio.

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Now, I’ve been home for over three weeks and I feel as though I’ve cycled through all five stages of grief over my lost quarter. While the first week was filled with pure denial since classes hadn’t started yet, I’ve since forced myself to at least try and assume a daily routine to keep myself from moping in bed for the next six months.

Since I live on the West Coast, my classes are now three hours earlier than they were in Boston. But I really lucked out with my schedule this semester—now, instead of having afternoon classes, I have them between 9am and 1pm on most days. That leaves me with the bulk of my days entirely open! I knew that if I had this much free time with no other obligations, I would regret it if I didn’t do something with it. Yes, I have spent more time than I am proud of watching Netflix (I binged Cheer and Love is Blind) and scrolling through Tik Toks, but I’ve also implemented a stricter workout routine and have been learning and practicing more challenging yoga poses. I keep my yoga mat unrolled in my room at all times so that it is a priority. Another trick I’ve learned is to start warming up before I even change into my workout clothes—that way, changing out of my comfy sweats into leggings and a sports bra doesn’t seem like the huge feat that it often does when I’m not warm yet.

One of the hardest things for me at this time—and probably for most people—is not being able to see my friends. It sucks, quite frankly, that my hometown friends are all home from our respective colleges but haven’t been able to see each other even once. I also miss the friends that I’ve made in Boston who live in different cities—and some of them I had only just become friends with before break. Freshman year is supposed to be a time of cultivating these new relationships, and it has definitely been a challenge to attempt to do it virtually. While it can be really easy for me to fall into a pattern of self-isolation beyond the literal, physical term when I’m just sitting at home for weeks, it’s very important to take measures to counteract this tendency! Even when I haven’t really “felt like it,” I’ve been trying to FaceTime friends as often as possible; talking to them always makes me smile, and my mood is improved afterwards. From simply catching up on life to watching Netflix shows in sync or coloring “together,” these occasions have reminded me that I’m not alone and that we are all going through the same thing. 

Beyond trying to accomplish a certain goal or connect with others, social distancing has allowed me to relax and try new things, or rediscover old things. I’ve recently been rewatching episodes of the ‘70s detective show, Columbo, which my parents showed me growing up, but I had pretty much forgotten about until now. I’ve also cut myself some face-framing bangs, tried out new makeup looks, obsessively swept the house, whitened my teeth, made every type of smoothie under the sun, and taken the Jeopardy online test. While these activities are not how I imagined—or would have preferred—to spend the end of my freshman year of college, I can still appreciate them and learn to accept this as the “new normal.” 

These are confusing, volatile times, and I think the only way to truly stay sane is to take everything slowly, one day at a time.

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