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What I Learned About Myself During University Quarantine

Honestly, Colgate’s two week mandatory quarantine wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be. The food was alright (most days), I had time to focus on work, and I got to know my roommate a lot better than if I’d been busy seeing my already established friends. In addition, I learned a lot about myself during these two weeks. Here are a few of my latest discoveries:

1. There are enough hours in the day (almost).

It’s college, and I know we all have a million and one things to do in the day. Without the distractions of friends, clubs, and socializing, I found that I was able to keep up with (and even get ahead on!) all of my work. I’ve always felt I had to put a class on the back burner; one class always seemed to get skimmed readings or half-checked problem sets, but during quarantine I felt I was able to give every class the attention it deserved. 

2. Committing to myself is attainable.

Throughout college, I’ve struggled to find the motivation and time to care for both my body and my mind. Not socializing on weekends allowed for much needed self-care nights. Instead of going out, I did hair and face masks! Some nights, I simply watched my favorite show until I was too tired to keep my eyes open. And you know what? It felt better than going out, both that night and the next morning when my hair smelled like fresh flowers instead of a frat basement. 

3. Distance can’t break real friendships.

While not being able to get up close and personal with friends stinks, I know it won’t end any of my real friendships. Maybe distance and the lack of the party scene is testing some this semester, but real friends stick around whether you can party or not! Seeing my friends was so joyous and a much needed break from the monotony of my apartment. 

4. I HATE tofu.

Okay, on a less serious note, what’s up with the tofu here? Does all tofu taste this bland, or is it just a Frank thing? Either way, I won’t be eating tofu anytime soon. 

5. Creative outlet = must.

Going forward, I know for a fact that I need a creative outlet. Nights spent painting during quarantine were my favorite! I was so content and able to connect with myself. Self-expression is really important to maintaining a positive relationship with yourself, so I really recommend giving it a try! Painting, drawing, crocheting, writing… find a way to express yourself!

6. Finding moments to recenter are vital.

When stress strikes, I found it super relaxing and humbling to take a few moments to refocus my attention and energy. One way I did this was by doing yoga with Nike Training Club. There are great videos for all levels to follow along with on Youtube or NTC. Be it through meditation, yoga, or screaming into the void, find a way to recenter yourself during moments of stress.

Riley Decker

Colgate '23

Sophomore at Colgate University majoring in psychology.
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