Last spring, as the coronavirus took hold across the nation and world, Union College made the decision—as did most educational institutions—to move to online learning after spring break. So in mid-March, students headed home for the remainder of the semester. Many went to areas with enforced or at least recommended stay-at-home orders.
“Quarantine” and “shelter-in-place” became household words, and two students in Union College’s Feature Writing class decided to write a how-to article on surviving this new challenge. Message magazine bought their articles and featured them on their website. And even though the country isn’t in complete lockdown, we think this advice is still valuable as we continue to live life very differently thanks to the pandemic.
The introvert’s guide to surviving quarantine
by Lacey Stecker, a sophomore communication major from Indiana
Let’s face it. All the extroverts assume we’re handling quarantine like champions. They think we love the isolation. Yet they couldn’t be more wrong. There’s something they don’t realize: we’re not alone. We are trapped with them, and they are demanding all our attention because they can’t get in touch with their kind. It’s exhausting! How can we get away from them when we can’t get away?
Try following this list of six things the introvert can do to get some time alone.
Set up a dead zone. Pick a quiet part of the house and tell your loved ones that while you’re there, you aren’t available to talk. Make sure the boundaries are clear and let them know they can use it as well.
Put in your headphones. Even the most sociable extrovert knows that when the headphones are in, the conversation is over. We’ve all mastered the art, so take advantage of this classic social cue.
Work on a project. This excuse requires some effort, but it’s worth it to get away from the crazy extroverts of your household. Whenever they come for attention, gesture to your project and explain that you don’t have time to be with them at the moment.
Go for a drive. I know, I know. It sounds like we’re wasting gas and where are we going? Why would we ever leave the house if we don’t have to? To get away from the society-starved extroverts of course! Keep those sweatpants on and drive with the music blaring until you get bored. Trust me, this will supply at least an hour of isolation—even if you get lost on your “unnecessary” trip.
Start a movie marathon. Sure, this one isn’t guaranteed to get you alone. It does, however, promise a no-talking environment. Let the extrovert in your home know they can watch, but not talk through the movies. Who knows? Maybe it will help them too.
Let the extroverts in your home know what’s going on. Yeah, I know. Feelings are gross and weird to talk about. But extroverts are going through a lot and need us to be there for them. They ask us to understand them constantly, but they need to understand us too. Tell the extroverts in your life when you need a break, even if it means hurting their feelings. Work together to find the best balance of their need to be with you and your need to be alone.
The extrovert’s guide to surviving quarantine
by Diana Celaya, a junior computing major from Texas
Would people describe you as outgoing and a little loud? Extroverts have the most fun . . . except now we outgoing people can’t go out or have friends around to hear our infectious chatter and laughter. Social distancing can make us feel as trapped as a firefly locked inside a jar. We need to interact with people—that’s how we recharge our energy. So what can we do when we can’t hang out with others?
Here are some tips on how to survive quarantine as an extrovert.
Reconnect. Communicating with others is a must for extroverts. This quarantine time can give you an opportunity to connect with old friends that you haven’t seen in a while. Shoot them a text or give them a call to see what they’ve been up to.
Hang out virtually with friends. Social media is a fantastic way to check on our friends in this crazy time. Some ideas include:
- Open a Snapchat account. Add your friends and send each other snaps of how your day is going. When you wake up, you could share funny selfies of your morning face, or when you’re having breakfast, you can exchange selfies of your meals.
- Interact with others virtually through video chat and even movie dates. My boyfriend and I watched Tangled through Facetime together.
- Upload a video of yourself working out, such as doing fifteen squats or the latest TikTok dance. Then challenge some friends to do the same and tag their friends on Facebook or Instagram; you might start a chain.
Make yourself known. Take advantage of technology and let other people know you for your talents. For example:
- Start a Youtube channel about any hobbies or interests you might have, such as video games, dancing, cooking, etc.
- Share your art on an Instagram account. Post photography, drawings, quotes, or any way you express yourself. Keep the account updated and public to anyone.
- Open a TikTok account and do some fun challenges with other people around the world.
Spend time with God. Let’s face it—when we’re busy with school, work, and relationships, we tend to forget about God. So read a chapter a day of the Bible or a devotional book. Listen to what God has been trying to tell you for a while through Scripture, and pray so He can listen to you too.
See your family as friends. Gather a few family members and do some activities together, such as a family game night with UNO cards, Monopoly, or Gestures. This is a time to strengthen your relationships with your family members.
Go outside. Going outdoors for a walk or biking around your neighborhood can help you get some vitamin D and exercise. And as you see and greet your neighbors and passersby, even from far away, you’ll recharge your energy and realize you’re not alone in this world.