How to Handle Quarantine with your Roomies

Here at UMass, the spring semester has gotten off to a wacky start. Only three weeks ago students were excitedly moving into the dorms, filled with anticipation of being back on campus with friends. Not even a week later on February 7th, COVID cases skyrocketed and spirits plummeted. The university moved into “high risk” status, sending the campus into lockdown. Anger, frustration, and fear set in as students realized the future of the semester was in their hands.

Woman Sitting on Chair While Leaning on Laptop Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels This situation is ideal for absolutely no one, but for the immediate future, it is imperative that we adjust our lifestyles to stop the spread. With that being said, social interaction should still be incorporated into your schedule to maintain mental health. We can all appreciate our alone time, but it’s unhealthy to go too long without talking or laughing with others. This can be creative! I’ve seen students across campus use sticky notes to write messages to students in adjacent dorms. If you aren’t close with your roommates, take this chance to talk and learn more about each other. Join a club! 99% of the clubs at UMass are virtual right now, so use your extra time to join a group you’ve always been interested in and learn something new. 

If you are close to your roommates, it is still important to take time for yourself. Maybe you designate an amount of time each day to exercise. Through Campus Recreation and other private streaming services, there are a variety of videos you can use to guide you. It may seem like a lot to take on, but moving your body will boost those endorphins… making you healthier and happier! You may have to get creative with workout equipment. My personal favorites are full water bottles, soup cans, and a backpack filled with books- again, whatever works! You could also set aside an hour to read, write, or treat yourself to a spa day. It’s not offensive or mean to take the space that you need yourself, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself!

woman meditating with dog beside her Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Try to create a personal study space. Since your favorite spot around campus to grab a coffee and do your homework is temporarily closed, create an environment within your living space that will be comfortable, yet effective. This can look different for everyone. Personally, I try to complete all assignments from my desk to create a clean and organized space. For you, maybe your bed is the place that keeps you grounded. Experiment with a few before settling in. Also, this space doesn’t have to be physical. I find myself listening to a specific genre of music while I do homework. Maybe strictly 80s rock will be the music that gets you in the zone- give it a shot!

Whatever ways you choose to quarantine, remind your body and your soul that WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.