take a break during quarantine
Contributors Ramtin Hakimjavadi and Simi Juriasingani
Hi BMSA blog readers! We hope you are staying safe and practicing social distancing.
It feels like it’s impossible to go online without reading alarming information about the current COVID-19 outbreak. While the news is important, we’re facing a challenging time as students with the switch to online classes and assessments. We’re in uncharted territory together, so in this blog we want to share what we’ve been doing to take a break during this stressful time.
1. Checking in on family and friends
We are very fortunate to have so many communication tools that allow us to stay connected with those who are important to us, even as we self-isolate. Humanity has faced many challenges over the centuries - plagues, wars, natural disasters - but the level of technology available to the general public today is unprecedented. Facebook message your close friends, and even your more distant friends. WhatsApp message your relatives, video chat so that they can see how much you have grown! Make sure that they are well and coping, and let them know that you are doing alright as well. Staying in touch with friends and family is nothing new, but in the face of a pandemic that has thrown everybody’s lives into disorder, it is definitely a great way to foster a sense of community - let’s (figuratively) quarantine together.
2. Cleaning your physical space and your digital space
Staying at home for extended periods of time might make you realize how disorganized everything is. Not just ordinary untidiness like dirty dishes or neglected laundry. The time at home may reveal something more fundamentally wrong with how you organize your things as you typically manage a busy schedule. Why are jackets and sweaters scattered on the couch and bed? There’s plenty of room in the closet! Why does that one housemate collect all the flyers for Food Basics? Everyone shops at Walmart! Perhaps you can start filling the blanks for your own home. The coming weeks or months will be a great time to tune the underlying processes which lead to a messy house. Also, do not limit your spring/pandemic cleaning to your physical home - clean up your files and folders on your computer as well. Most of our lives are on the PCs and Macs we use for school, so clearing some clutter digitally will also make a big difference!
3. Working on your passion project
This may sound cliche, but this is the perfect time to work on your passion project. Whether you want to learn how to code or develop that idea you had for a novel, you can spend your spare time in quarantine chipping away at these goals! If some of your extracurricular activities or family plans have been put on hold, redirect the extra time towards your passion project. Several online teaching platforms (such as Coursera.org) are offering courses at lower prices or even for free for students impacted by COVID-19, so you can start learning a new language or developing other skills you want to have. Hey, if you manage to write a novel or develop an app that goes viral, you’ll have a solid story to tell people once things have settled down.
4. Indulging in your guilty pleasures
With the transition to doing coursework online, we’re experiencing a lot of pressure and stress related to staying productive. However, you can also take advantage of the increased flexibility in your schedule to indulge in your guilty pleasures, which you don’t normally have time for. For example, you can catch up on your sleep by taking a power nap after broadcasts of your lectures or in place of that lab that’s been cancelled. You can also reward yourself by reading chapters of a book you’re interested in or watching episodes of a show you’ve been wanting to see more frequently between periods of work. We need to remember that it’s perfectly ok not to spend every waking moment being productive, or working on assignments.
Have your own interesting approach to self-isolation? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to have them featured in future posts!