How to Spend Your Quarantine On-Campus

By Aiyana G. White

This summer, you’ve completed your internship, baked several banana breads, and watched “Hamilton” more times than you’d like to admit. Now, you’re moving to campus! We all know that this school year is going to be one for the books. The topic of COVID-19 has been hotter than any summer heat wave, especially because states have implemented strict quarantine rules upon arrival. If you are spending the fall semester on campus, here are a few useful things to do to pass time in quarantine fruitfully.

Organize your suite.

First and foremost, use this time to completely unpack your suitcases because let’s face it, if you don’t do it now, you never will. Choose where your laundry basket will go, whether you want to hang or fold your shirts, and how you want to set up your desk. Make sure that you have everything that you need for the semester, from pajamas to snacks to notebooks. Your parents will be so impressed!

Approximate time passed: 2 hours

Declutter your electronic devices.

Delete unnecessary photos and screenshots from your phone, useless files from your laptop, and apps you never use. The less clutter your phone has, the smoother it will function, and you most likely won’t run into the problem of running out of storage at the worst time. In the meantime, set up your G-cal and download a note-taking app such as Notability to keep your life organized in the future.

Approximate time passed: depending on how much of a digital packrat you are (definitely yes if you have 6,000+ photos and videos) and how easily distracted you get, between 30 minutes and 3 hours

Make a list of classes you’ll take the rest of your semesters at Harvard.

Whether you’re a first-year student with eight entire semesters ahead of you or a senior and think you have it entirely figured out, it’s always nice to have a visual aid for your plans. Pull out a fresh new Excel sheet and fill up those grids with GenEd requirements, concentration requirements, and electives. If you’re feeling ambitious, color-code all the boxes. Even if you make changes to this later on (and you most likely will), it’s nice to have all your ideas laid out neatly in front of you.

Approximate time passed: 45 minutes

Call your family.

Amongst all the craziness of scheduling your meetings and the news about (what else?) COVID-19, your family members miss you more than you can imagine. Take some time to update them on everything going on in your life, from new friendly neighbors to how hot it is in Cambridge. Just hearing each other’s voice will do wonders.

Approximate time passed: literally anywhere between 10 minutes and 4 hours (you never know how long you’ll want to gush about your proctor’s adorable dog).

Do some workouts.

Sure, your friends back home may be catching some rays by the pool right now, but how much exercise can they possibly be getting from lying still for an hour? Invite your suitemate for more motivation, break out a sweat, and stimulate that brain cell development. This is also a great way to bond with someone if you haven’t talked much with them yet.

Approximate time passed: theoretically 60-90 minutes but I forgive you if it's looking like 15


Who’s going to protest against this? You’ll be begging for it when classes start picking up. We promise we won’t judge you if the only thing you do is catch some z’s.

Approximate time passed: 1 week

Rather than listlessly moping around all week, you now have plenty of useful things you can accomplish with your time instead. If all else fails, you can always watch “Hamilton” on Disney Plus for the fifteenth time. We know there’s a million things you haven’t done, but just you wait...

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