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A Day in the Life of a Northeastern Student: Fall 2020 Edition

Being back on campus after leaving abruptly in March — and surviving quarantine with my family in our two-bedroom apartment — definitely feels a bit surreal. Although life on campus is different than it was pre-COVID, it still feels great to attend classes and see my friends (safely of course!). 

Keep in mind that my day as a second-year journalism major may differ from those of other Northeastern students. Nevertheless, I hope it gives you a good idea of what an average day is like in the age of COVID. 

8:00 a.m. - Wake up time! Though it is not the best habit, the first thing I do after shutting off my alarm is grab my phone. I normally lay in bed, scrolling through social media and TikTok, until I realize that I actually have to get up and start getting ready for the day. After getting out of bed, I stumble half-asleep to the kitchen and pop an espresso roast k-cup into the Keurig. While my coffee brews, I head over to the bathroom to wash up, dry my hair (always still wet from my shower the night before) and pop in my contacts. After doing my everyday makeup routine and putting on a simple outfit, I sit with my roommates at our dining table and eat a breakfast of iced coffee and yogurt with granola before heading off to class. 

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9:00 a.m. - Time to head to my first in-person class, History of Journalism! Before heading out the door, I double-check that I have all my COVID safety essentials: my mask, Husky Card on a lanyard and a travel-sized hand sanitizer. With my mask on securely and my Daily Wellness Check complete, I am ready to head to class. When walking across campus from my dorm on St. Stephen Street to Ryder Hall on Centennial Common, I see a bustling campus with masks on everyone’s faces and a healthy amount of social distancing. My first class of the day is an NUflex hybrid class, meaning that the professor teaches in person with half of the class present while the other half of the class joins in synchronously via Zoom. In the classroom, the seats are spread out with at least six feet of distance between themt, both across and in between rows. Luckily my classes tend to be quite small, so there were only six of us in the classroom along with the professor. 

10:45 a.m. - COVID test time! At Northeastern, students and faculty are required to be tested every three days in the onsite testing center, located at Cabot Physical Education Center. My roommate and I scheduled our tests at the same time a few days before, so we headed over with our Daily Wellness Checks loaded on our screens and our appointment confirmation emails. Luckily there was no line when we arrived— we got our temperature checked, wellness check scanned and were inside within minutes. The whole process took about 15 minutes. After the first couple of tests, it becomes a bit mindless. 

Noon - After spending some time watching Netflix, I get up from the couch to get some lunch. Earlier in the week I meal-prepped some pasta salad, so all I had to do is pop some into a bowl and toss it with a little bit of italian dressing, salt and pepper. While eating my lunch, I usually write a to-do list of all the homework and article-writing that I have to do later in the day. 

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1:35 p.m.- Second class of the day! My Spanish class this semester is online, but my professor teaches as if we were in person. They utilize breakout groups so that we still have all the benefits of group work. 

3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.- Downtime! This is the part of my day that varies on a day-to-day basis. Depending on how busy I am, I’ll split the time between drafting articles, setting up interviews, doing homework and relaxing in the living room with my roommates. For today, my roommates and I went on a quick trip to Starmarket to stock up on some groceries. After that, we decided to have a study session, blasting our Spotify playlist and working on homework. I spent most of the time studying for a quiz I had later on in the week and doing extra practice for my Spanish class.     

6:00 p.m.- Club meeting time! Although clubs are not meeting in person this year, all of my clubs are hosting weekly Zoom meetings. Today I had club meetings for Her Campus (a club which everyone should join, of course) and The Huntington News. In between those meetings, I ate a quick sit-down dinner with my roommates. During the week, we rotate who cooks dinner; tonight, my roommate cooked balsamic beef stir-fry with asparagus (yum!). 

9:00 p.m.- 1 a.m. - For the rest of the night, I finish up whatever homework I have due the next day and begin drafting and brainstorming upcoming articles. My roommates and I usually end the night by watching either a movie or an episode from one of our favorite shows, depending on when we finish our work. Tonight we watched the final episode of Haunting of Hill House — it was so good, I definitely recommend it! To wrap up the night, I took a long shower right before going to bed. As I lay in my bed, I often watch TikToks to mentally relax and prepare to do it all over again the next day.  

Jessica Brite

Northeastern '23

Jess is a fourth-year journalism major with a double minor in communications and global fashion studies at Northeastern University. Born and raised in NYC Jess enjoys all things fashion, beauty, lifestyle and music!
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