With college campuses across the country closing in response to COVID-19, University of Arizona students are joining so many others in the transition to online school. But what are students doing with their newfound free time?
Natalie Feldman, a UA freshman studying philosophy, politics, economics and law, was in New York for spring break. When she returned to Tucson, she couldn’t go back home and risked putting her grandmother, who has lung issues, in danger. According to Feldman, her mother told her to stay in the dorms for a while, in case she developed any symptoms.
“There wasn’t anyone in the dorm, it was pretty creepy,” Feldman said.
Feldman found a new pastime in adult coloring books that has helped with stress. According to Feldman, she got three books three years ago, but she hadn't frequently used them until now. She dusted off the books and started coloring for about three hours every day.
Maeve Prudence, a UA freshman from Chicago, Ill., went home to spend this time with her family. Since the quarantine, all gathering spaces were shut down, forcing people to find alternative ways to stay healthy. Prudence goes out for runs and walks, but she doesn’t enjoy it that much.
“I will rather be going to the gym though because there is more to do and I feel more motivated,” Prudence said.
Prudence, wants to keep her classes up, do her assignments and rest with her newfound downtime. Since quarantine started, she confessed that she has been sleeping and watching movies.
“I just want to relax and distress,” Prudence said.
UA freshman Stella Douglass states that she started color-coding her classes, a method she has never done before.
“I have so much time that I am just like finding weird projects,” Douglass said, who is trying to get into the Eller College of Management.
Douglass likes reading, but since she started college, she didn’t have the time to read for pleasure. She was reading academic books for her classes but not for joy. Nowadays, Douglass spends around two hours per day reading for pleasure.
When it is light outside, from around 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Douglass gets her blanket, sits on a couch and starts reading.
“When you are reading your brain slows down and you are just concentrated on one thing and then you feel more in peace,” Douglass said.
In an attempt to keep herself fit, Douglass likes to search YouTube for hip hop choreography she can learn. Before quarantine, Douglass used to go to boxing, but now she relies on dancing to stay healthy.
“Dancing is my new exercise, for now,” Douglass said.
Douglass mentioned that dancing is a good and fun alternative for a workout routine because you get to move and shake your whole body. She dances around two to three hours every other day when she is in the mood and has enough energy.
According to Douglass, getting up early in the morning, changing clothes and getting out of the bedroom is a good way to do not feel isolated. She enjoys spending more time in the living room to hang out with her family. She walks her dog during the sunset to see the view of the sun going down.
Additionally, Douglass strongly recommends using "Netflix Party," a Google Chrome extension that allows people remotely to watch movies with their friends so you can have a movie night.
Students are all doing different things with their newfound free time to stay fit, busy and productive.
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