Like many other NYU students, I am studying from home this semester. I swapped out my NYC studio apartment for my brother’s room in my childhood home in Flossmoor, IL…a comparable trade. While this is in not in any way how I expected to start my senior year at NYU, I’ve been trying to make the best of it and create some sense of structure and normalcy within my daily routine. I am still working on perfecting that school-work-home life balance, but the current routine I have going is working pretty well for me! Let me take you through “a day in my life” as I navigate studying at home as an NYU Senior. Here’s what Tuesday, September 15th, looked like for me:
7:30-8:30 AM ~ Coffee & Skincare
My earliest class this semester starts at 9:30AM EST, or 8:30 AM for me in Illinois. I force myself to wake up and start getting ready at 7:30, so I’m alive and alert by the time my class starts. I enjoy starting my days with things that make me happy, which consist of coffee and my skincare routine. I put my at-home barista skills to work and whipped up an iced oat vanilla latte before going through my morning skincare regimen. I’m really into skincare, so I allow myself some extra time in the mornings to give my skin some extra attention. Whether that means using a quartz tool to give myself a mini facial massage or doing a quick mask, this step lets me practice a bit of self-care and prep my skin and mind for the busy day I have ahead. I also make an effort to get fully dressed in “normal” clothes, to stop myself from getting too cozy and climbing back into bed. By 8:25, I’m ready to sit down at my desk and log into class.
8:30-12:30 ~ Morning Classes
I stack my class schedules, so most (or all) of my classes fall on two or three days of the week. This semester, I have all four of my classes on Tuesday and Thursday, with one recitation on Friday morning. I have back-to-back classes from 8:30AM to 12:30PM, starting with a “Research Methods” course, followed by an Applied Psych class called “Seminar”, and ending with a supervision group class where we discuss our Applied Psych internship experiences. I try to be as engaged as possible during these classes. None of my professors require that students have their cameras on, but I keep mine on to hold myself accountable for paying attention and not getting distracted. I’ll usually sneak a small, easy breakfast during my short breaks between classes. One thing that’s really helped me get into a routine this semester is having a defined work area where I can attend classes and do homework. Having this defined space (my desk) and resisting the urge to lay down on the couch or crawl into bed has really helped with my motivation and setting boundaries for where I work and where I relax.
12:30-3:55 ~ Homework & Random Tasks
I have a pretty large gap between my morning and afternoon/evening classes, which is pretty nice! I try and take advantage of this time and get some work done, whether that’s for my internships or catching up on some last-minute readings for my evening classes. Right after I signed off from last class, I tackled the pile of laundry that had been building up on my futon and cleaned up my room from the morning of chaos. I watched a documentary for my evening class, “Community Empowerment,” and did some work for my research team. After this short-lived burst of productivity, I made myself some lunch and relaxed by watching some Netflix while I ate. It was only 2:00 when I finished lunch, so I decided to get creative and take some photos for my Instagram skincare blog (@z.kincare). This combo of random chores and school/work tasks varies daily based on what I need to get done and my energy level after sitting through over three hours of class.
3:55-6:35 ~ Evening Classes
My Tuesdays and Thursdays end with two evening classes, “Adolescent Development” and “Community Empowerment”. Although I’m usually drained by the time they start, these classes are discussion-based and focus on topics I’m really interested in, so I don’t have a hard time staying focused.
6:40-11:30 ~ Dinner, Drinks, (virtual) Date
My family either eats dinner while I’m in class and saves me a plate or waits until I’m done with class to eat with me. On this particular night, I ate dinner with my family right after class and hung out with them for a while. My mom is a nurse and typically works evenings, so we celebrated my long day of classes being over and her night off with some wine over dinner. My younger sister is a freshman in high school and learning remotely, so I helped her with her homework for a bit. At around 10:00, I went upstairs into my room and had a little virtual “date” with my boyfriend, where we facetimed and then watched our current favorite show on Netflix, Umbrella Academy. I was exhausted by 11:00, so I wrote out my to-do list for Wednesday, did my nighttime skincare routine, and was in bed by 11:30.
Translating my typical school-day routine to this new living situation has been a challenge, but I’m trying my best to stay as positive as I can. Although I miss my friends from school, I try and talk to them as much as I can, and appreciate getting to spend more quality time with my family before I graduate and grow up/move out next semester. I’m trying my best to make time for the people and things that make me happy as well as doing some long-overdue work on my health and well-being. All us college students can do is take everything one day at a time and make sure to check-in with ourselves and friends about how we’re adjusting to this new way of life. This isn’t the semester we planned for, but we’ll make it through and make the best of it!