With all the University of Northern Colorado classes switching to online for the remainder of the spring semester due to COVID-19, UNC students are self-isolating themselves in their homes. But other than schoolwork, what can students do to keep themselves busy and entertained while stuck inside?
For students at home with family members, isolation is an opportunity to spend quality time with the members in your household . Go for walks, play board games, have movie nights, cook together or even bring back old family traditions. Sydney Bateman, an early childhood major, is doing the various activities with her family.
“I have really enjoyed getting to spend time with my family, it’s been great to see them more than I normally would,” Bateman said.
During this time, keeping in contact with friends, classmates and other family members is crucial. Some people are struggling during the pandemic and hearing from others is comforting. One of the activities I have been doing to keep myself sane is setting up group video chats with friends every week. This is an effective way for people who are isolated and away from loved ones to remain connected. NetflixParty, FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype are a few applications people can use to see their friends without the risk that comes with breaking quarantine.
Group FaceTime, Zoom and NetflixParty allows people to keep contact with their family and friends during the pandemic. NetflixParty photo courtesy WRSM.com, Zoom photo courtesy of zoom.com and Group FaceTime photo courtesy support.apple.com
Quarantine will come with boredom, but the situation gives people more free time to try new hobbies or bring back old ones. A few hobbies to try during this time is learning how to play an instrument, cooking, doing art, and exercising. Jordyn Cordova, a freshman majoring in communications, is trying out new things with her free time.
“I’ve been trying to keep busy by going on runs, which I usually don’t do, but it has been nice to have time for,” Cordova said. “Something that I also have never really done before is coloring, so I guess you can say I have a new hobby.”
Another great way to feel connected to people is to watch popular tv shows. Right now, everyone is talking about the show on Netflix called, “Tiger King.” This true crime documentary is about a man who owns big cats on a private zoo in Oklahoma, who always happens to be accused of involvement in a murder. Personally, I have been watching “Good Girls” on Hulu. The show is about three women all going through financial struggles. They become fed up with playing by the rules and decide to become involved in crime.
Lastly, these times are hard on people’s mental health. Many students are anxious about the virus, not allowed to see their friends, and are struggling with the switch to online classes. Online classes are overloading students with work that most of them feel a lack of motivation to complete. Senior sociology major, Faith Lyons, is one of those students struggling to stay motivated.
“There’s just so much going on outside of school it’s hard to maintain focus on my coursework,” Lyons said. “Everything just feels like something to cross off a very long to do list, instead of genuine learning.”
This is why people in quarantine should take care of themselves by doing the activities that they enjoy and staying connected to the people in their lives. Self-care and de-stressing are essential to maintaining a person’s mental health. People can organize and clean the space they occupy or try out different relaxation strategies. Most importantly, with everything going on, it is more than valid to take this time to do nothing and be lazy.