Preserving Your Normal College Routine as a Zoom Student

Everything about our normal routines has changed drastically— no more peaceful walks down Bay State in the morning, no more studying with friends, no more eating out... it’s been a wild time of adjustment. As students and workers all over the world switch to remote learning/working, maintaining a sense of normalcy has been a key challenge. Of course, we want to usher in what is the “new normal,” but how can I preserve some of my old normal too? Here are some suggestions:

  1. 1. Rearrange your furniture

    When BU announced that classes would be remote for the rest of the semester, the first thing I did was to move my bed so that it was parallel with my desk. This was the same setup I had in my dorm, and on some weird psychological level, it seems to make a difference. My room now is oriented very similarly to how my Bay State dorm looked like, so memories of me as a child running around on the carpet have been replaced with more recent ones of me studying, hopping around from desk to bed to the floor.

  2. 2. Eat at your (old) normal times


    I’m someone who never eats breakfast, and while it takes only five minutes at home to toast a bagel (as opposed to the longer Einstein or Starbucks lines), I’ve decided to continue my habit of skipping breakfast and opting instead for an early lunch. While this means I miss out on a few family meals, it has worked wonders for me in terms of energy. My mealtimes back in college were perfectly spaced so that I’d eat right when I was hungry or in desperate need of a pick-me-up, and doing the same at home, despite how much the times differ from when the rest of my family eats, has kept me in the same routine.

  3. 3. FaceTime/Zoom/call your friends

    On Wednesday nights, as I walked from the Howard Thurman Center back to my dorm after a club meeting, I would always call my best friend and we’d catch up with each other. Now, the walking part is gone, but during the same timeslot, I call her and we chat. I’m type A enough to love scheduled phone calls and to truly believe that they make a difference.

  4. 4. Find a way to work out

    person kneels to tie their running shoes. they are wearing a coat and a hat and appear to be on a bridge

    While I didn’t frequent FitRec, the layout of Comm. Ave made it so that I was getting in my 10k steps every day, without fail. Being under house arrest is an extremely inactive state though, so you’re going to have to put in more effort to get the blood pumping. I have my yoga mat set up in the corner of my room, and a series of YouTube videos saved.

  5. 5. Get dressed

    Anna Schultz-Girl Sitting On Steps Alone With Rings

    This is pretty standard advice, but going to class in pajamas really does nothing for that proper headspace. While I’m still mourning that 90% of my wardrobe is back in my dorm (and who knows when I’ll get to see it again...), I have enough clothes to dress nicely for my Zoom sessions. And I’m never tempted to nap while rocking a blazer, so there’s that too.

Here’s to hoping you all can find your new normal or salvage some parts of your (old) normal routine!


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