Self-Quarantine: Week 1

A few days ago I, along with the rest of us students at UNC, received an email telling us that residence halls are officially closing and students should plan to move out ASAP. Coming to terms with the fact that my senior year will no longer be spent going to class on campus or participating in all the Carolina senior traditions has been tough. Some days are better than others but I’m not going to lie, occasionally I’ll think about it and get a bit teary-eyed. Similar to many Tar Heels, Carolina really had become my home away from home, I didn’t think they were serious when they said it during orientation 3 years ago. Sure it can get stressful and the classes are far from a “piece of cake” but I’ve learned so much, both about myself and academically. And I’ve had fun in the process. 

Now, I am officially moved out of UNC and preparing to start classes online. I am worried that I won’t be able to get the same experience since my classes are fairly hands-on, but I’m going to stay positive.

As some of you know, I work at the UNC Reese Innovation and Lab, and we have already begun working from home. My team has had two Zoom meetings so far and aside from barking dogs, meowing cats and little brothers watching tv in the next room, it’s been alright. 

I think the hardest part for all of us students will be making sure we stay focused and motivated. Based on my experience I am most productive working on campus or coffee shops around campus. I think that’s because I don’t usually go home unless the school is on a break of some sort. Let’s be honest, home is pretty distracting, especially under a self-quarantine when we can’t even escape to the local Starbucks or public library.

In order to combat this and prepare for a busier work week with classes and new projects at RIL, I’ve spent some of my free time planning and organizing next steps. I’d like to share a few things that I have done to make sure I stay on top of things during the rest of this unexpected, bitter-sweet, low-key scary, quarantined senior year.

  1. Clear up an area at home that can be used as a new workspace. I’m using the desk in my room. 
  2. Use a planner, or start a bullet journal (it’s also a fun quarantine pass-time). 
  4. Get in touch with classmates that you have projects with and set up a game plan. 
  5. Get in touch with co-workers and plan how work will get done what home and what projects need priority. 
  6. Be mindful, yes you are at home and campus is #canceled, but school isn’t. 
  7. Take care of yourself, be respectful and empathetic.

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