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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

Moving back to college was something I had been looking forward to since the day I had left. Being back home — spending what were supposed to be the “best years of my young life” working a part time job and sitting in front of a computer for hours on end — was not how I envisioned my sophomore year of college to go. Luckily, the school year seemed to go by fast and I found myself preparing to move back with all my friends. However, shortly after arriving to campus, I found myself wishing I was still home. I had not even gotten the chance to spend a full day back on campus when I had to quarantine for possible COVID exposure. I was moved into an isolation room before I had even unpacked all my things into my dorm room! Thankfully, I was only isolated for 4 days before my test results came back negative and was able to move back to my room. Reflecting on my very chaotic first week, I’ve come up with my top 3 things that I wish I would’ve known to prepare for my quarantine period. No one can predict when they may have COVID and if they’ll have to isolate, but I am hoping these tips will help better prepare someone else. 

Have a “Care Package” Ready 

Like I said, I was so underprepared. I didn’t have time to go shopping, so I had no food, no medicine, and a very limited number of toiletries. After I got back to my room, the first thing I did was fill up a tote I had with nonperishable foods, medicines, comfy clothes, and various other supplies I wished I would’ve had for the days I was isolated. Set aside a box of things that you can quickly grab if you find yourself needing to isolate right away. Small things like a fan, books, paper to write or draw, and extra chargers are just some of the things you are going to want. 

Don’t Panic

When I was told I was being moved to a self-isolation room, I began to panic. The thought of being stuck in a small room by myself for 14 days just about sent me into a spiral; I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it.  When I found myself panicking, I would meditate or just sit and focus on my breathing. The anxiety will happen, but knowing how to calm yourself down is crucial. 

You Are NOT Alone

Go figure, huh! You’re isolated, literally alone, but you’re not! I spent a lot of time FaceTiming family, playing online games with friends, and making various TikToks. It will be easy to want to just lie in bed all day and make the whole situation worse, but it is important to keep in touch with the outside world so you don’t go crazy. Keeping busy with others or even with yourself — like journaling, singing, drawing and even dancing — will help time pass faster and keep your spirits lifted. 

Sitlali Cortes

Washington '23

Sitlali is a third year student at the University of Washington and intended communications major! She's from Yakima, Washington and when she's not busy with school or work you'll find her with friends and family! She also enjoys reading and writing poetry and making playlists.