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Wellness > Mental Health

Tips to Settle Back Home in the Wake of COVID-19

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

On March 17, I officially moved out of my dorm and ended my junior year six weeks early. Emotionally, I am a bit scattered one could say, but I know I am lucky I had a place to go. I have friends still staying at school who can’t go home and I have friends who are struggling to go back home since home is an unsafe environment. The virus has progressed so quickly, it feels like us college students are just caught in the middle.

But, I know that the precautions my school has taken are necessary. Limiting contact with others and getting out of close-knit dorm environments will be essential to stop the spread of the virus. Just because I may “be fine” if I get sick, there are so many others who will not be. The mindset that those who are older or already sick or immunocompromised are “expendable” needs to stop. We are all human, we all deserve the right to live, and if sacrificing my college life means helping others, I would do it a million times.

That doesn’t mean I am any less sad. I am allowed to be sad and miss my friends; miss the life I thought I would be having for the next month and a half. This is new territory for everyone, which is what makes it so scary, but once we get into the new groove, things will get better and we will all be glad we did our part to flatten the curve.

1. Start Unpacking Early

clothing items and pair of shoes in luggage
Arnel Hasanovic / Unsplash

It can be tempting to leave things all over the house and say you’ll unpack it “tomorrow”. It’s daunting, there’s a lot of stuff, but the longer it stays and waits, the harder it will be to start.

2. Sanitize Your Stuff

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
No one knows where your belongings have been. So take the extra time to make sure everything is clean. Wash all the clothes and wipe everything down with wipes that kill the virus. Also, clean your stuff from home, it’ll make you feel better.

3. Go Through Your Stuff

Two Hanged Blue Stonewash And Blue Jeans
Mica Asato / Pexels

This is the perfect time to see what you really need and what you don’t. Make bags to donate, throw out, recycle and keep, especially if you took discarded items from other people home with you.

4. Integrate Your School Stuff With Your At-Home Stuff

Art class
Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash

Did anyone else take all their college stuff and just throw it in the guest bedroom all summer? No? Just me? Cool. Since we are home for longer this time, we are not going to do that. I am going abroad to LA next semester and I am probably getting an apartment after that, so I decided to start taking my items from school and using them at home. It’ll also make the change less of a shock!

5. Spend a Lot of Time With Your Pets

Puppy Hand Fun Ring Summer Hapy Original
Charlotte Reader / Her Campus

You’ve spent months at school, you can make up for the lost time now.

6. Spend Time With Your Family

SP Home 3
Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

When you’re at college, you can pretend they don’t exist. When you’re all stuck in the house together… that’s a different story. Play games, watch movies, hang out, you are stuck together, so this is the time to let go of grudges (unless they are too big to be ignored) and bond.

7. Make Your Room Look Like Yours Again

Taili Samson
TaiLi Samson / Unsplash

I spent a lot of time making my dorm room look pretty cool, if I do say so myself, but my room at home became a trash room for things I didn’t know what to do with. I plan on taking things from my dorm room and using them in my room at home. After all, it will be my home for the next few months.

8. Make a Spot to Do Schoolwork and Homework

This is essential. I did online school in high school and as much as it would be nice to just do school in bed, you at least need a main hub to put your things and separate them from other belongings. I recommend a table or desk to put notebooks and reserve as your school, just to keep things organized.

9. Plan out Your Days

marble and pink notebook
Plush Design Studio

If you do have ZOOM classes, make a schedule of when they will be. Think of them like regular classes. Plan out when you will be doing homework as well. It can be easy to forget that you have to do school at all, since you are in a drastically different location.

10. FaceTime Friends From School

Woman with headphones listening to music
Bruce Mars
And lastly, you don’t have to lose your friends from school. Social distancing is completely compatible with Facetime. Call your friends and hang out, take them on a walk, show them your house. It’s the little things.


Olivia is a senior Creative Writing Major from New Hampshire. She loves to ice skate, write novels, and bake, as well as spend time with her elderly rabbit, who is the true star of the show.
Emerson contributor