Getting Into a Quarantine Routine: How to Make Home Feel Like School

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Since leaving campus and continuing the semester remotely due to the coronavirus outbreak, our normally busy lives at Penn State have come to a screeching halt. At first, and maybe still, you probably felt frustrated — not used to being quarantined at home with nothing to do and no social interaction beyond family members within the walls of your house. You probably complained about being stuck and bored, with no motivation to keep up with your online classes. 

But — at Penn State or not — life goes on. Just as you would on campus, you still have responsibilities. Classes have to be attended (on Zoom, that is) and homework has to be done. You still have to find ways to stay active and healthy, even if you can’t go to the gym or would rather stay up until 3 a.m. watching Netflix than go to bed at a decent time. 

As students, we’ve all gotten used to our own routines while on campus. We wake up at a certain time in the morning, get ready for the day, go to classes, have lunch and do homework in between, go to the gym, attend club meetings, go back to a dorm or apartment for dinner and get to bed at a certain time so you can wake up and do it all over again the next day. 

Even though you’re at home now instead of at school, having a similar routine is just as important in order for you to continue to succeed in your classes and stay feeling your best. 

So, how do you get into a routine when you’re stuck in your house all day? It’s the same as it would be at school — just without ever leaving the comfort of your home.

We all want to have a lazy day once in a while, and being stuck in your house makes it so tempting to stay in bed all day and binge-watch your favorite shows. But in order to be productive while classes continue through Zoom, waking up at a typical time is the first step. The time you wake up each day depends on your class schedule, but sleeping in until 2 p.m. every day won’t do you any good.

Once you start your day, you should try to keep a routine that is as close as possible to the one you would have at school. If you normally have breakfast before your first class, do that at home too before you get on your computer to join the Zoom link for class. If you would normally get some homework done or go to the gym between classes, do that too. Try changing scenery for these activities, too. If you attended class in the living room, go to the kitchen to catch up on work. Or if you attended class in bed, head to the living room to do an at-home workout before your next class.

When your day is winding down and you would normally go to club meetings for the organizations you belong to on campus, try doing something fun instead. Go for a walk outside or watch an episode of a show on Netflix. End your day with dinner (probably with your whole family since you’re all cooped up together), get ready for bed. Try to go to bed at a time that is best for you in order to be refreshed the next day!

Quarantine life might be new, frustrating and pretty boring at times, but getting back to your school routine will help you stay organized, motivated, successful and help the days go by a little bit quicker. Hang in there — you’ll be back in Happy Valley before you know it. 


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