COVID and Adapting to Living at Home Again

I fondly remember that glorious day when I first set foot on campus my freshman year. I was so excited to live with my roommates, make new friends, and enjoy my newfound independence. I thrived in the increased autonomy of the college environment, but then the pandemic hit. I was forced to move back home, which was fine for the most part because I adore my parents. But that was back in March 2020. It is now nearly the end of February in 2021. It has almost been a year since I have lived at home. 

 

Needless to say, I am a little restless. Maybe cranky. As a young 20 something almost-adult, I am ready to spread my wings. Alas, I must wait until August. How have I not had a mental breakdown by now? Well, I’ve got a few tips for retaining your independence and sanity while living at home during COVID.

 

  1. 1. Make your room a sanctuary

    When I moved back home, I was fortunate enough to have the ability to move into my older sister’s old room and redecorate it the way I wanted. Having a room that was entirely of my own design has provided me with a sense of independence and control while living at home. I recognize that others may not be able to change rooms or do a total redesign, which is fine! In that case, I recommend that you fill your room with things that bring you joy. Like calming smells? Get an essential oil diffuser. Like playing games? Display your video games in your room! Making your room a sanctuary will give you a private place to relax when you are stressed.

  2. 2. Set up a dedicated place for schoolwork

    Whether you do schoolwork in the kitchen, your room, or a designated study, try to have a space that you associate with work. This will help you stay focused and recreate the feeling of separation you had between your workspace and your dorm or apartment at college. This will make doing schoolwork at home feel a little less odd. Feel free to decorate your study space with things that energize you! For me, I am a big fan of having plants and candles on my desk.

  3. 3. Find a way to stay connected to the campus community

    Just because you are not at college, does not mean you have to feel detached from the campus community! Whether you keep in touch with friends from school, visit campus, or participate in a club try to find ways to bring the university experience to you. Personally, I have kept my connection to campus alive by participating in extracurriculars and visiting campus when I can.

  4. 4. Find solace in your hobbies

    Incorporating your hobbies into your daily routine can help make taking classes from home feel less stressful. Set aside time daily to do at least one thing that brings you joy. For me, I workout pretty much daily and make a point to spend time with my parents. Without a few hours of rest in my day, I would not be able to function. It is essential to make sure you take care of yourself and give yourself a rest from the demands of online schooling.

  5. 5. Look forward to the fall semester

    Whether you are planning to return to campus or not in the fall, try to think of something you are excited about for next semester. Looking forward to the future can help you feel less pessimistic and can give you motivation for your schoolwork. For me, looking for townhomes to rent with my friend in the fall semester has given me a goal to work towards and something to look forward to at the end of summer. I am counting down the days until I can move out with my roommate and return to campus. 

     

    I hope my tips for staying healthy and independent while living at home help you cope with the uncertainties and change brought upon us college students by COVID. I wish everyone the best of luck this semester, and hopefully one day college life will return to normal (whatever that will mean).