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Kristine Mahan / Spoon

So you’re home- now what?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Buffalo chapter.

You might be wondering why I chose the cashews as my image for this article, and that is because living at home is DRIVING ME NUTS. Get it? I’m sorry. 

Moving on from that, I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as adaptable. I have definitely had to adapt to many things in my life, and it always turns out okay, but I wouldn’t list it as a strength of mine on my resume, you feel me? Regardless of how I feel about my adaptability, I have had to use the skill, as has basically everyone in the world these past few months. Since returning to my home, I have had a difficult time adjusting. If I’m being candid, which I am, it’s been a little painful, and in a lot of ways my academic life is suffering. A week ago I really tried to pick myself up and start figuring out how I was going to handle this, because it clearly wasn’t going away.  

I will admit that I am proud of where I am right now. I am not doing as well as I was while I was at school, but I am making do with what I can. So, I figured I’d share with you some tips besides the one’s that I’ve been hearing from every direction (i.e. take walks! get a hobby! etc…) 

Embrace the wonders of Ambient-Mixer.com

This website has been a true life-saver since returning home to my thin-walled New York CIty appartment that I share with four other members of my family. My one younger brother is trying to teach himself jazz piano and the other one (whom I share a bedroom with) is twelve…need I say more? My dad is also working around the clock in meetings as he writes code for medical software, so that doesn’t exactly create an environment condusive to studying either. Moral of the story: my house is really fucking loud. So, after contemplating if I should invest in ear protection for shooting ranges (yes, a pair of those bad boys are currently sitting in my amazon shopping cart) I decided in the mean time I would venture into the untapped wealth that is ambient noise generation. If you don’t know, it is essentially sounds that are constant and undistracting. Think ASMR made for tuning out. The wibsite I metioned above https://www.ambient-mixer.com/ helps you create your own “mixes” of ambient sounds to focus to. There are even options of already generated mixes that other people made that have to do with your favorite books and movies. I personally have been enjoying one titled “Ravenclaw Commonroom”. Sue me, Harry Potter is always relevant. SO, if your house is noisy like mine, do yourself a favor and plug in some earbuds and listen to ambient noise.  

Make space

There is no more escaping your constraining dorm room to go to the library or starbucks. And when you come home to an equally unprivate space, things get tricky. As I previously mentioned, I am back to sharing a bedroom with my little brother. I was so deadset on going back to school that I didn’t bring my stuff home until the very last second. And even then, it took me some time and *gentle* encouragemrnt from my stir-crazy mother to get me to actually unpack. But once I did, I felt infinitely better. As someone who enjoys having my things in one place, moving is incredibly stressful. BUt once I feel settled, I can recover. For me, settled means having at least a corner where my stuff is and I can feel like I am by myself. I have set up a desk that used to belong to my brother in my now bedroom. I hung a couple of my dorm things on the wall to make me feel at home, adn I set up my books all cute. I even light a candle sometimes. And when I set at the desk, I can almost forget that I am STUCK IN THIS ROOM FOR THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE. sigh. Even if your house/apprtment is small, taking a corner, a desk, a drawer even, and makingit yours can do wonders for your mental health. Trust. 

Try to remember what’s important 

You are quarantining for a very good reason. You are helping flatten the curve and saving lives. And even though you may be experiencing intense loss, try your best to be thankful for what you do have. When I am feeling frusterated at home, I remember how lucky I am to have a place to sequester myself to in the first place. There are so many people living in shelters rtight now, and even on the street, and they are at a higher risk simply because of their economic status. I try to remember that the entire globe i also in this with me. We are all making sacrafices and grieving in one way or another. The most important thing we can do is try our best to be there for eachother and be understanding with ourselves. 

All in all, you guys got this. I hope this was helpful, or at least put a smile on your face. Even if there isn’t light at the end of the tunnel yet, there will be soon. We have to hold out for that. At the very least, I don’t think anyone from our generation will waste moments after this. Good luck guys! Remember to wash your hands. 

Ali is the social media manager for the Buffalo chapter of Her Campus. She is a Political Science major with an affinity for crooked media podcasts and bad movies. She hopes she will one day learn how to take care of plants.