COVID-19 BLOG: Keeping up with the new normal

Recreational+activities+like+hiking+are+great+ways+to+pass+time+during+quarantine.+Photo+courtesy+of+Vanessa+Rivera.+

Recreational activities like hiking are great ways to pass time during quarantine. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Rivera.

As the 2020 fall semester begins, we reflect on our time during quarantine. This blog was written April 8, 2020. 

To think that life was normal over a month ago feels like a hoax.

I recently packed up my dorm room in Straz Tower and moved everything out. Everything in me was drained once I stepped into that room. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my last dorm room for college when I still felt like I had time to enjoy my last few moments there.

COVID-19 is everywhere. It’s overruling news, social media, and personal lives. Social distancing is the new normal, and it was difficult to get used to in the beginning. I’m the type of person that needs to go somewhere new after spending a lot of time in one place. Having to adjust to this new way of living while having to switch to online school isn’t an easy transition anyone asked for.

Even though I’ve been preoccupied with school work and tasks I’ve given myself, there’s still an empty feeling. I don’t have that feeling of being on campus. I don’t get to talk to my roommate across the room. I can’t walk over to Cobeen Hall for hot cookie night. I can’t see the amazing people that work at the Wire. I can’t walk over to Raynor to spend hours doing homework. My bed doesn’t suffice for a table on the first floor of Raynor.

These circumstances aren’t ideal, and given how unpredictable everything is, it sometimes makes me feel uneasy not knowing what the future might look like. Will I have a job to help me hold myself up? Will I be able to help if things get worse? Will life go back to normal?

There’s a few things that have helped me navigate these unpredictable times. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is to remember to take care of myself. While on campus, I was so consumed by anything and everything I did relating to school and organizations I’m in. I rarely took time for myself to do things I enjoy outside of school.

While at home, I’ve been keeping up with school, but I’ve also given myself time to do things I enjoy. I’ve been completely consumed with Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch, and I’m sure a bunch of others are as well. Crafting, painting and cooking are some of my top hobbies at the moment.

Getting out of the house while social distancing is something I’ve been trying to keep in my daily routine. I’ve gone for walks, runs, and bike rides around the neighborhood to get fresh air. I’ve also been on a hike or two. It’s difficult going from walking all over campus to sitting at home. Being outside gives me a chance to disconnect from constant consumption of COVID-19 news. It pulls me away from being on my phone for much longer than I should.

I don’t know what I would do without the support I receive from my professors, organization members and family. This is new for everyone, and it puts my mind at ease knowing that everyone is there for one another.