(Illustration by Ysabel Berger)
As students at Utah Valley University, we all understand just how important our sanity is. Between attempts to get all of the classes we need and the hours of study and homework, it’s a wonder that we survive at all. Enter 2020 from stage left. This year has been especially trying for the students at UVU. With that in mind, we have compiled a small list of things to do while students are asked to socially distance and hide out in cramped apartments or rented rooms. Here are five COVID cures for stir-crazy roommates. Enjoy!
1. Jazzercise! Bring back an 80s exercise video
During this time of shutdowns and shut-ins, it is important to make sure that you are getting some kind of exercise. If you are like me, that dusty exercise contraption in the basement is almost as terrifying as figuring out how to blow up a yoga ball. So, let’s have some fun with it. Try working out to a bad 80’s exercise video. The more flamboyant, the better. Whether it’s Richard Simmons or Jazzercise, you and your roommate will soon be dancing and spinning to some of the worst — or best — music and motivation on YouTube. Here is a video to get you started:
2. Create Your Own Soap Opera
In a world of streaming and binging, it sometimes feels like we have seen it all. This is especially true these last few months. It can be frustrating to scour Netflix for that next show to help us escape from reality for a time. Then, even when you find the perfect show, there’s only one season to watch. Why not take matters into your own hands. First, find a show on your favorite binging service. Then, mute the TV, make some popcorn and dub in your own dialogue for the characters on the show with your roommate. It takes some practice, but soon enough you’ll have a whole new set of unique shows to experience.
3. Have a Tea Party
As students, we often find ourselves limited to the magical number in our bank account. Mine is usually a number I can use my fingers to make. This is good, since math isn’t really my strongest subject. When people think of tea parties, they usually imagine fancy British people eating crumpets with the Queen, or little girls drinking tea with the Mad Hatter. Well, here is some good news. You don’t have to be British or rich to have a tea party. All you really need is your favorite beverage poured into a mug or cup. Tea is optional here. Especially if that’s not, well, your cup of tea. Snacks are optional as well. I like my tea with crackers and salami — usually things I already have in my cupboard. Spread the snacks on a plate and sit down with your roommate for tea and conversation. If you want to spice it up a bit, try this out with a bad British accent.
4. Learn a New Life Skill
Since we seem to have an abundant amount of time on our hands with all of the movie theaters and restaurants either closed or limited in how they can entertain us, it is important to keep our minds sharp. We can only watch so many Tik Tok and YouTube dance videos. So, why not try and learn a new skill? YouTube is actually an amazing resource for this, since everyone on there seems to want to show us something already. You can learn a new dance, how to fold origami, more card tricks to impress your friends or even how to whistle like a true New Yorker. That last one might start to annoy the roommate though. Proceed with caution. Learning a new silly skill may not seem like a life-saving endeavor, but at least it will save you from boredom.
5. Write a Letter
Remember the time, long ago, when people used to write emails on actual paper, using something that looked like a stylus, called a pen? If you don’t, you can go ask your grandparents about it. It was all the rage in their day. Believe it or not, they still sell paper and pens at the UVU Bookstore if you don’t already have them lying around. Seeing how 2020 has been an interesting year, why not write a letter to yourself, expressing all of those things that you might not be able to talk about with anyone else. Oftentimes, getting things down on paper, being honest with what flows through that pen, can help a struggling student sort out and identify feelings that they didn’t even know they were experiencing. After writing your letter, seal it up in an envelope and hide it away somewhere. I suggest putting it in the pages of your least favorite textbook from last semester. You know, the one that even Amazon wouldn’t take back. It’s alright if you forget about it. It’s even okay if you end up getting rid of the thing you hid it in. The point was to write it down. It doesn’t matter if you ever read it again. Someone might, whether it’s in three years or 30. It’s our modern-day version of a message in a bottle.
Whatever you do to cure your cabin fever, don’t forget to keep yourself and others safe by wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing.