Interview with Roomates on COVID Comfort Levels

If I have learned anything from this pandemic (and life in general), it is that everyone experiences life differently. For many of us today, we find that leaving our homes after being isolated for so long is difficult to do, even if it is for a task as simple as walking around the block.  For me, I know it took a lot of effort for my roommates to get comfortable with moving back on campus. Considering this, I asked my roommates Kerry and Emma about their thoughts on the pandemic, braving the move back to campus and their overall comfort levels as we re-integrate into society.

Her Campus: Now that we are a week into classes, how do you feel about returning to campus?

Kerry: I am feeling pretty anxious about returning to campus, but I know that it was the right decision for me.

Emma: I still feel like it was a good decision but it feels wrong after living at home for so long.

HC: What concerns you about being back at school?

E: how irresponsible other kids our age are. I can control who I interact with for the most part, but I could easily pass 10 people without masks if I go for a walk to the store.

K: I don’t trust other people to be COVID cautious and to be honest about interactions that they have had with other people.

HC: How do you feel about your in-person classes?

E: Very comfortable - there are few enough people and the COVID regulations are strict enough that I don’t feel like my safety is jeopardized.

K: I don’t have any in-person classes.

HC: If you had the option to go to in-person classes, would you?

E: Not if I can avoid it.

K: It depends on many factors, but I feel a lot safer not having classes in-person.

HC: How comfortable do you feel leaving the apartment?

E: Comfortable - I don’t choose to go to many high-risk places and I always wear a mask.

K: A bit anxious, but I feel comfortable by taking as much control of my interactions leaving the apartment as possible by wearing a mask and keeping my distance.

HC: What is your comfort level with seeing friends? What are your hesitations?

E: It depends from person to person. I’m lucky to be living with one of my best friends so I know we’ll always be able to hang out together. I wouldn’t be comfortable seeing other people unless they were wearing a mask and I could guarantee that they didn’t do anything high-risk. I’m hesitant about making plans with friends for my own safety, but I also don’t want to jeopardize my roommates’ safety.

K: My comfort level depends on the situation. I am only planning on seeing people that I am completely comfortable with and consider them “low-risk” because they don’t see other people and stay masked. While there are no guarantees, when I am comfortable seeing people, it stems from what I believe their level of caution is. I am hesitant because I don’t want my actions to harm other people.

HC: What frustrates you about being back on campus?

E: being stuck inside & seeing how COVID has affected the environment of campus. It’s not the vibrant place that we left a year ago.

K: It’s frustrating being back on campus because I see other people acting recklessly and not caring about how their actions can affect others. 

HC: Do you regret your decision to be back on campus?

E: No, as much as I’m homesick I don’t regret coming back.

K: No I don’t regret my decision because I think it was really important for my mental health.

HC: How does your daily schedule on campus differ from your schedule at home?

E: I don’t have my dog to take care of and I don’t have any video games with me that would distract me, so I have a lot more time to get work done.

K: My daily schedule has differed on campus because I don’t have my family around to help distract me and I also have to set more time aside to cook and clean.

HC: Have you had to come out of your comfort zone when moving back to campus?  If so, how?

E: Yes, I’m working on it but I have to get used to living with other people again because living at home was more quiet. I also have to practice cooking meals every day which has been a challenge.

K: Yes, I have had to come out of my comfort zone because I spent so long living in my bedroom and not leaving my house to protect my high-risk family members, but now I have to leave the apartment to go outside and to go to grocery stores.

HC: Have your relationships with friends and family changed at all due to different exposure comforts? If so, how?

E: No. My family and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to being as careful as we possibly can be. Same for me and my roommates. 

K: My relationship with my family and roommates has not changed because we all have around the same degree of comfort. However, my relationship with some friends has led to us growing apart because of our different degrees of comfort.

HC: Has your mental health changed at all due to your comfort levels? If so, how?

E: I would say no.

K: Yes, my mental health has definitely changed, I am definitely a lot more anxious and afraid of going outside and being around more than a few people.

These times have been rough for all of us, so it's important to know where our comfort levels stand. For those of us on campus, we have to work hard to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.