so…for the sake of social distancing, everyone’s trapped in their rooms. most public places are shut down, so there’s nowhere to go anyway….chances are that you’re bored out of your mind. you probably miss your friends a lot and are either binge-watching Netflix shows or sleeping for ungodly amounts of time just so you have to find fewer things to occupy yourself during the day.
for MIT students, this period of time is particularly tedious. we don’t have classes for the next week and a half, so we have a lot of time that we don’t know what to do with. in fact, in the past few days, we went from being students with insanely hard classes and 1000 extracurriculars to students who haven’t been this not busy since high school.
i can’t speak to how other MIT students are surviving this lull in academics, but i’ve developed a few coping mechanisms that have me straight vibin‘ through this self-quarantine. feel free to drop your own techniques in the comments :)
oh man, i love reading. i haven’t spoken about how much i love it on the blogs yet, but…guys. i used to be a semi-professional book blogger. i also had a bookstagram where i posted aesthetic and heavily-filtered pictures of my beautiful collection, and i read maybe five to six books a week.
things have changed SO much since then. at MIT, you don’t really get time to read unless you’re diligent and able to prioritize it over hanging out with your friends, which i am not. so, now that i’m in the midst of social distancing, i’ve been READING.
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel — this dystopian novel is set in the aftermath of a strain of swine flu that wipes out the majority of civilization (ha ha…topical). it has wonderfully woven storylines that will keep you captivated. i read this in my sophomore year of high school but decided to pick it up again because of the current state of the world, and damn, does it hit hard. highly recommend.
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — i don’t feel qualified to summarize this book given that i’m only fifty pages in, but wow, its prose is gorgeous. i don’t think i’ve enjoyed a book’s prose this much since reading The God of Small Things, which is also magnificent.
members of the MIT dance community really came together to support each other through quarantine!! it’s wonderful. some famous choreographers have started holding online workshops and training sessions, so my friends and i participate in them and post videos of ourselves dancing in a FaceBook group we made. someone also organized freestyle training, in which we’re given a prompt each day to freestyle to. i’m so excited about these opportunities to grow as a dancer even though i’m stuck in my room all day. the dance community is so, so uplifting, and i couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it.
here are some free live dance classes, for those who are interested!
Learning New Things
hey, i have time to learn new things now! that’s crazy. Nisha, who happens to be very good at guitar, showed me some tutorials that i’ve been using. i learned Take Me To Church by Hozier the other day and found it suuuper satisfying.
i would also recommend learning a new language during this period. i, uh, would be doing this if the Chinese class i’m in this semester weren’t so intensive. Duolingo, Coursera, and edX are always there for you, though!
i know so many people who have complained about having no time to learn something because they’re so consumed by what being an MIT student entails. well, here’s your chance!
Good Ol’ Internet (With Friends)
Watching TV Shows/Movies
- Discord has a screen sharing service called Trast. it’s great for watching TV shows with your friends remotely since it has a non-janky chat box (looking at you, Zoom…)
- please, god, do not Zoom call to start a movie at the same time like one of my friend groups did yesterday…there are better options, i promise
- Netflix also has the Netflix Party Chrome extension! go crazy.
Games [for those who probably don’t identify as real gamers lol]
i’ve joined 12 Discord servers since leaving MIT…we out here thriving
disclaimer: i need to do this myself
this time is rough for everyone, right? why not pop on a few face masks, or start a new workout routine, or organize all your belongings if they’re messy and have been bugging you for months? the possibilities are endless. start bullet journaling and practicing mindfulness! everything is stressful and isolation makes it worse, so try to implement things in your lifestyle that will benefit your physical and mental health.
scrolling through your timeline for six hours straight and taking four-hour depression naps is NOT self-care, y’all.
how are you surviving quarantine? let me know :)
stay safe, everyone!