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How to Survive Quarantine in College

Tips and tricks to making quarantine as manageable as possible.

by Anna Roberson

Although we’re vaccinated and eager to make up for lost time, Covid is very much still alive and well. I’m writing this from my isolation dorm at 580 Commonwealth Avenue. I'm in the corner room on the 8th floor with a front row view to the hustle and bustle of campus life that, for the time being, I can’t participate in. Although it’s overwhelming to miss out on a week of college, this forced pause can be a good thing. Obviously, for those with symptoms, the most important part of isolation is healing. Sleep, hydrate, eat, and rest, and when you feel better follow these tips to stay sane.

Set Timers

At the start of my time here I found it hard to focus on anything because my days had no structure. Setting aside 30 minutes to work on your paper feels comfortingly doable compared to just sitting down to “work on your paper.” If you have a lot of work to do, set timers for structured breaks.

Make a List

In real life I complain about not having enough time to do all the things I would like to— now there is no excuse! I finally got around to painting my toenails, meeting (virtually) with my academic advisor, deleting pictures and text messages to clear space on my iPhone, etc. It’s the little things you would never set aside time for on a busy, regular-college Tuesday.


Now that I don’t have much to report about, I find I’ve been listening more. Call your family, text your friends about their days, talk to your nurses, and really listen. You might have a different perspective on things.


Ever wanted to learn how to juggle, whistle, French braid? Now’s the time to learn. I remember my mom making me memorize “The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock,” during the OG quarantine in March 2020. It seems silly but it’s kind of fun to have a song or poem memorized that reminds you of this weird time in your life. Especially if it’s something long and obscure that you have the time to memorize now—it’ll be a good dinner party story.


These are unprecedented times and unusual circumstances. Journal, vlog, record your daily moods and thoughts, one day you’ll look back and have a laugh.

Get Excited

Being locked away from normal life makes us appreciate our daily routines. What’s the first meal you’re going to have back in real life? What’s the first outfit you’re going to wear back out? Make a list of all the places you can’t wait to visit again.


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