Olivia Papp ’23
Presently, it seems the break students are experiencing from campus is equivalent to summer vacation. However, while summer is filled with exciting adventures with friends, swimming, hiking, and tropical weather, students instead have before them a long, bitter winter with family and a lack of space. At this time, as Coronavirus cases are spiking to never seen before heights, it is crucial families stay with immediate family only and refrain from venturing out to see friends except from behind screens. While it may be true that students missed their families, three months cooped up inside the same household as we all fight to contract COVID-19, may be a bit overwhelming to some. Here are a few ideas from the Tripod to keep from going stir-crazy over the course of the next few months.
It is important to get outside and stay active, with a mask on, of course. Although the world is in the middle of a global pandemic, getting exercise is still crucial to maintaining positive physical and mental health. Right now, people are hesitant about visiting their local gym again for good reason. While people are worried about sharing the same spaces and equipment as other people who potentially may be infected with COVID-19, going to the local gym is certainly not the only way to get exercise. Although it may be cold, depending on where you are living, going outside is a scientifically proven way to enhance your mental health. Wearing a mask, it may be fun to go on family walks or even walks alone.
Get involved–with anything! Take up a hobby and use it as a positive outlet during these difficult times. Here are some examples of hobbies that you can take up during the winter at home. Perhaps use your extra time to learn to play a new instrument. There are many virtual tutors that can teach beginners to play. Download an app on your phone or laptop to help you learn a new language. Perhaps even finding a quiet place inside or outside to sit down and escape reality by reading a book will be a good way to make time for yourself. If you miss being able to have move nights in your quad with your friends or roommates, there are still ways you can watch movies together. By downloading Netflix Teleparty, one person can invite any number of people to the party. Then, this person will be able to host the Netflix Teleparty and pause the movie whenever the group wants. If you miss chatting with friends during the movie, Netflix Teleparty also creates a chat space for all participants to message one another during the movie.
Although it is difficult for everyone to not return to their normal patterns, it is possible to find ways to cope. While students would like to return to school sooner rather than later, this is a precious and unique period of time for family bonding. Although it may be difficult to stay cooped up in the same household for months on end, there are many ways to recuperate and maintain a positive, healthy mindset.