Daily routines provide stability, regularity during pandemic

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GRAPHIC BY SAUMYA SHARMAN / THE FLAT HAT

For the first 18 years of my life before starting college, I had developed a consistent daily routine, with slight modifications and alterations as I grew older. So, living at a whole new place with a new group of people when I started college was already a pretty big switch. Now, with my freshman year not even fully complete, I am back at home where even my old routine is not sufficient, as I now have to spend most of my time inside while this pandemic continues in its unprecedented spread.

Even though I may not be able to return back to my college routine or even my old home routine, it is routine that is helping me to achieve a sense of stability in these chaotic times in which we are living; I would recommend others to consider it as well.

On every weekday, I focus on schoolwork for a set amount of time, with the evenings set aside to spend time with my family or call my friends on Zoom or FaceTime. In order to make sure that I am productive, I wake up at a decent hour each morning instead of sleeping in as I would much rather prefer. It is a struggle to get up early in the morning considering that I am not going anywhere, but it allows me to get as much work done each day as possible without having to worry about school work outside of my allotted time each day. In some ways, this also helps to remind me of life at the College of William and Mary where, for me at least, most of the weekdays are spent at classes or working on assignments, with the evenings, if I do not procrastinate, set aside for hanging out with my friends.

Every afternoon, I also take a break from my assignments to go on a walk with our family dog. With the pandemic at a particularly dangerous stage in my home state, we have to be careful to maintain social distancing, but it allows us all to get some exercise and to get out of the house for once. To be quite honest, these walks are now one of my favorite pastimes because it allows a reprieve from the monotonous cycle of going through each day.

“I highly recommend to those who are struggling to get through this pandemic to set up a routine for themselves as they see fit.”

In spite of the monotony, however, having a routine allows me to have a purpose each day even though, in the strictest sense, there is not really much that I am obligated to achieve besides assist in slowing the spread of the pandemic. It also gives me things to be excited for each day; the walks, for instance, really motivate me to finish my assignments in a timely manner, and setting the evenings aside ensures that I do not overwork myself and also allows me to spend time with the people I care about, even when most of us will not be able to physically meet up with each other for a long time.

I highly recommend to those who are struggling to get through this pandemic to set up a routine for themselves as they see fit. While some may see such a strategy as monotonous, I would argue that it is no more so than the routines that we each set for ourselves while at the College, and setting times aside for work, exercise and leisure certainly helps someone like me to make sure that each day is not wasted and that, even when the world seems to be going upside down, life still goes on.

Email Lucas Harsche at lmharsche@email.wm.edu.