The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I went through the past couple of years without catching COVID, and I plan on continuing that. I was even lucky enough to not have to quarantine during my entire sophomore year. However, plans changed a little during junior year.
To preface, I have not caught COVID, and I am so happy to have avoided it. Instead, I got myself into two short quarantines, which were not fun. In general, the underlying reason why this kept happening was because I caught a cold, and the symptoms are similar to COVID.
The first time I had to quarantine was because I decided to visit the Student Health Center after developing some symptoms. Regardless of whether it was COVID or not, I preferred not to accidentally get anyone sick around me. At the health center, I tested negative the first time with an antigen test. Then, they gave me a PCR test the second time just to be cautious. Because of that, I had to isolate in my room until I got my test results back.
Even though I was quarantining for 24 hours, there is something so lonely about it. I have a roommate in my double, but I was advised to have a mask on and social distance from them as much as possible. Moreover, I live in a suite, and it was strange having to distance myself around my other roommates. It was like being back in elementary school and worrying about the cheese touch. Only this time was much more serious.
I was fortunate enough to test negative, but it was a draining experience. During that time, I had to miss classes. Because classes are in-person again, it was difficult trying to catch up on the classwork I missed. Moreover, I had to depend on my roommates in order to get food, and it was strange relying on them even if it was for 24 hours.
I realize that others have been through worse. I know people who kept going back into quarantine many times last year just because of contact tracing. However, if you are in quarantine even for a short period of time, it is valid that you are feeling lonely and in a rough spot. You probably are there for a reason. The second time I was quarantined, it was not because I was contact traced. Half a week after my first quarantine, I was contact traced, but because I still had my cold symptoms, they put me back in quarantine for 24 hours. Everyone else who was contact traced got away with just having to wear a N95 for the next two weeks.
During this time, I know it sucks to be falling behind in classwork. In one day, you realize how much you are missing out. It is harder to catch up when you cannot be present, even online. On the flip side, as college students, we rarely get a good day off. This is the time to take care of yourself and your body. Your health is super important. I was excused from classes because of this, so it gave me a good opportunity to catch up on sleep while everyone was in class. I had time to decompress from weeks of stress.
You will not fall completely behind. These are hours that you can make up. I suggest doing the homework that you have to do, so it will not be as bad when you return. However, think of it as a mental health day too. When your body is under stress, it will not perform as well. Therefore, you have to take care of it. The longer you are not taking care of yourself, the longer it might take for you to recover.
So take a deep breath. You will recover. You will get through the experience. You will get through this time. It gets lonely, so this could be a good time to catch up with people from back home. I had some great conversations with my friends from high school. You could also take the time to watch that show or film that you have been to watch. This is time for you as well.