How to Stay Calm on Campus During a Global Pandemic

By Sara Addis 

This year at the University of Illinois is unprecedented. Faced with a global pandemic, the university established testing protocols, designed an app to help monitor the spread of Corona and has moved most classes online. Students are expected to follow social distancing rules and quarantine if they have been exposed to the virus. 

While the university is handling the crisis very well, students are still left with several unanswered questions and concerns. Many are questioning the future of life on campus and are left with an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty. 

After speaking with several students about their lives on campus and their biggest fears, I wanted to address what actions students are taking to stay calm and collected during a period of chaos. 

The most commonly heard piece of advice from students was to get out every day. Although our social lives are very different and we cannot pretend that the virus does not exist, we can still get out of bed each day and force ourselves to get up and move. The gym might not be open, but that does not mean your feet have stopped working. Aiming for 5,000 steps on a regular basis or creating another simple exercise goal to meet has helped many students regain a sense of normalcy in their everyday lives. Students have even noted that it makes the day go by faster and releases pent-up energy and anxiety while helping them avoid becoming eternal couch potatoes. 

Students are also taking this time to brush up on their culinary skills. Many have reported that with so much extra time in their day, they have taken a liking to trying new things in the kitchen. From fun cooking recipes to delicious desserts, spending time in the kitchen is a way to keep yourself busy and fed. Although this option might be best suited for students who are living in apartments, trying a new activity may be exactly what you need to keep your sanity.

Stuck inside? Pick up a new board game from Amazon and play the night away. Bored of the same old music? Spotify has a free membership option for you to find new tunes and become the DJ of your dreams. Picking up a new hobby can help keep your mind busy while simultaneously teaching you a new skill that can come in handy when coronavirus no longer becomes a threat. 

COVID-19 has forced students to entirely change their way of life. But with this, students can usher in a period of personal growth. Trying something new or making yourself get up and out every day can change your life for the better. 

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