Quaroutine: How routines are changing during quarantine

quarantine routine. Oh, how the days go by…

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Wake up, eat, text, online class, binge-watch Netflix, scroll through Twitter, stay up till 3 a.m., repeat…

These have become my daily routine activities during the past month of quarantine, and it has been a big change to my previous one. I’m used to attending classes, being a teaching assistant (TA) nannying and attending teaching placements at local Delaware high schools which has left me feeling a little isolated.

With Delaware being shut down due to a statewide stay-at-home order since March 22, most of Delaware’s university community has been relegated to studying online via Zoom in our homes. With very little face-to-face human contact outside immediate family, our routines have become dismal.

As college students we are used to a set routine of getting up and venturing out on campus to attend class, working, hanging out with friends, club meetings, etc. The hustle and bustle of life plays like a song with varying combinations of low and high notes. The idea that day-to-day life would revolve around online instruction, raiding the refrigerator and CNN news flashes seems more like the plot of an independent post-apocalyptic movie than present-day reality.

Now that the university has shifted to a full time online education system for the current semester due to coronavirus, many students are feeling lost, confused and trapped. The loss of in-class academics and face-to-face instruction has not gone unnoticed by students, with students reacting to the dramatic difference in their daily routines in varying ways.

AnaCristina Conde, a sophomore English education major at the university, went from being a full-time college student who interacted with her peers by attending group dinners or skateboarding to presently waking up five minutes before her Zoom class meeting starts.

“Online classes are kicking my ass,” Conde says. “I hate it so much. I have no desk, so I can only do class on my bed or the kitchen table, but my mom is usually in the kitchen all day so it can be distracting there.”

With both of her parents in the medical field, she has been trying to help them more around the house, which has affected her routine and motivation.

“I have no motivation to do work because I feel like I’m just waiting for something new to happen that’ll mean that this will all be over,” Conde says. “Also, since being home 24/7 it’s expected that I do more work around the house and that’s been my biggest priority.”

Even though she lacks academic motivation, she maintains a routine of working out every night before bed in order to stay productive.

Marcanthony Smith, a sophomore English education major at the university went from being a busy student and English education TA to playing Sims and watching Will & Grace for hours on end.

“I don’t leave my house much,” Smith says. “ The only places I go are the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and an occasional trip to the grocery store. In order to stay motivated in my classes for each Zoom class, I change locations throughout my house to try and simulate being at school.”

Smith also acknowledges that due to the fast onset of quarantine, it seems that many students’ mental health may have suffered.

“I feel like I was finally getting into the groove of everything on campus and then all of a sudden everything changed,” Smith says. “I personally know that some of my friends are being hit really hard mentally due to being at home and not having their old lives. Some homes aren’t a productive environment.”

He also advises that it is important to try and stick to a routine of calling your friends or setting alarms to achieve goals throughout the day in order to stay productive during this tough time.

Emily Kropp, a senior political science major who experienced a sudden halt to her school year and uncertain graduation is staying optimistic and spending a lot of time outdoors.

“My coursework has been keeping me busy, so my productivity hasn’t declined, but I have lost some motivation,” Kropp says. “I’ve noticed I’ve been spending a lot of time outside. Now that the gyms are closed I’ve been running outdoors and I honestly keep wondering why I never did it before all of this happened.”

She expresses concern for students’ mental states during this time due to everyone being home and their altered routines. She advises keeping busy in order to stay sane and maintain some sense of normalcy.

“It is so important to have a hobby, do a puzzle, workout, talk to your friends, do something,” she says. “This will end eventually and we’re all going to be okay.”

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