Times are truly odd in this day and age, as COVID-19 has swept across the world and disrupted the structure and systems that have somewhat kept life in order. Schools have been greatly impacted, as students have quickly packed their bags and returned home to stay safe and indoors, or as most like to call it: quarantined.
Not many eventful things are happening anymore, but I’ve been keeping “busy” to repress my boredom. Here are some things that I’ve been doing in quarantine:
Freshman 15? Never heard of her. Covid 19? Now we’re talking.
I realized my rare visitations to the kitchen in my Unit 2 dorm and a lack of a personal fridge were a blessing in a disguise. Walking to get food was a great way to gauge whether I was actually hungry as well as get a little exercise before my meals. Now, the kitchen is just a few feet away, and my self-control is nowhere to be found. Being stuck inside the house, I can’t really escape it. As the boredom creeps in, I find myself more tempted, and well, you probably know what happens next. Let’s just say that I’m glad to be living close to RSF next school year.
Catching Up On TV
Strangely enough, I don’t remember ever having time to binge watch Netflix while I was still at Berkeley. But the home environment sure is great for switching gears into relaxation mode. During the first few weeks of quarantine, I think my productivity was solely channeled into my stamina for watching hundreds of episodes at a time without breaks.
Love is Blind. Check. The Office? Check (again). Great British Baking Show? Check. (Gosh, I need to stop with the food, really.)
Don’t get me started with Disney+. I assure you the amount of Disney movies and shows I watch is inversely proportional to the amount of work I do. But sometimes it’s conducive to productivity: watching Phineas and Ferb in the background is fun while doing some art projects.
Studying and School Work
Sadly, quarantine’s not all fun and games. Though my professors have been really accommodating with the workload and plans for the semester, it’s still quite difficult to learn in an online environment. Online midterms are terrifying due to the possibility of any mishaps occurring, like servers crashing or an inability to load and update exams at full speed. Likewise, home is sometimes noisy, making it difficult to concentrate on school work.
Teaching online is also an incredibly monstrous task, so I really feel for the professors, TAs, and tutors out there. Facilitating a decal and engaging with the class is kind of daunting, as I mostly teach to the void of blank screens and muted audio. Asking a question and hoping for some answers is also quite awkward, as deadpan silence usually follows, until someone nicely replies in the chat.
Ah yes, the comfort of my bed. Honestly, when I first came back home, I stayed in bed most of the time and never left. I was so unused to the comfort, though, that I ended up falling asleep several times without even intending to. I guess a rock-hard dorm mattress will do that to you.
Nonetheless, I did catch up a bit on the sleep I was missing out on when I was back at Berkeley, and waking up for a 9am isn’t so bad when I can set an alarm to wake me up right before class starts.
Napping seems like a good way to rejuvenate myself in the middle of the day, but it does have some negative repercussions. I’m not kidding when I say I sleep around 4am to 6am most of the time, and then I exacerbate the cycle by waking up early. As time has passed, however, I’ve become much less of a napper and have somewhat shifted back to my old routine, but the consequences of the napping period still remain.
In quarantine, I’ve thought a lot about how much I miss Berkeley and the structure by which it led me. I spent a lot of time complaining about things while I was there, but I realize that my friends, the freedom to roam around campus, and the general in-person interactions are few of many things that I took for granted. Quarantine has given me a new perspective in which to view the rest of my college years, and has actually made me appreciate Berkeley more. Please continue to take care and stay safe during these times, and hopefully, we’ll be able to come back to campus soon.