The Pros And Cons Of Being Home: What It’s Like To Be Back
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The Pros And Cons Of Being Home: What It’s Like To Be Back

The Rutgers Odyssey Community Discusses Quarantine.

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The Pros And Cons Of Being Home: What It’s Like To Be Back

Joanne, Amber, Rajvi, and I discussed what it has been like to have to return home due to the quarantine. Personally, it has been a huge adjustment. Joanne is a sophomore at Rutgers, and although she misses her friends, she's used to living alone. Similarly, Amber is a sophomore who commuted, so she didn't have to move anywhere. Rajvi is a freshman, who, like me, lived on campus, so things have been a lot different lately. Let's hear from everybody!

Meet The Panel:


1. Where are you spending your quarantine? What's the vibe?

Sophia Higgins: I am spending quarantine in my hometown of Hoboken, with my family. I haven't lived at home consistently for two years, so me being here all the time has been a big adjustment for both my family and I. In the beginning, things were a little stressful as everyone got used to this new situation, but fortunately, we are all doing a lot better now.

Joanne Kim: I am currently spending my quarantine back at my home in Fort Lee. The vibe is a bit busy and a bit overcrowded. Since Fort Lee has many residents living in closer quarters, we usually have to take more caution when going outside to get groceries or when we go for a morning walk. My parents and I would often have to wear masks on a daily basis whenever we go outside and would often resort to walking the stairs rather than taking elevators.

Amber Chai: I'm spending my quarantine at my house. The vibe is making use of all my time and days at home for safety.

Rajvi Shah: Hi! I'm Rajvi and I'm currently a freshman at Rutgers. I'm spending my quarantine at home with my family which consists of me, my twin sister, my younger sister, my parents, and my grandparents. We're pretty relaxed here; I'm fortunate enough to have parents who can work from home, and I'm in online classes right now. Occasionally, stress floats around during exam season for my twin and I, but for the most part its very homey.

2. Before quarantine, how often were you at home? How big of an adjustment has it been?

Sophia Higgins: I'm pretty close with my family, so I always try to visit them every couple of weeks. It helps that my mom actually works at Rutgers, so I'm often able to see her for lunch throughout the week. Still, coming home for a visit versus living at home and not being able to go out much are two very different things. I would definitely say it has been a big adjustment.

Joanne Kim: Before quarantine, I was sometimes alone. Since I have been living in a single dorm at my school this year, I had more time to spend by myself than I would have if I were living with other people. However, I did spend a lot of time with my friends and people outside of my dorm. I would often go out to get food with other people at the dining hall after classes and study or hang out with them.

Amber Chai: Before quarantine, I was mostly at my house. I commuted in and out of college. Sometimes, I hung out with my friends at college or in my hometown. Since I was mostly at my house, the adjustment was no problem for me.

Rajvi Shah: Before quarantine, I came home once every two or three weeks, sometimes more if necessary. The adjustment has honestly been a little difficult because I had to get used to living like I'm in high school again with my entire family in the house. Although I was only in college for a semester and a half, my entire routine and way of living changed, so I have had to try and work back to pre-college.

3. What is something great about being home that you are really enjoying?

Sophia Higgins: I am loving the fact that I can cook now. This year I lived in a dorm, so I was always suffering due to lack of good food to eat, and missing all the amazing breakfasts back at home. Now that I'm in Hoboken I've been working on perfecting my omelet making skills.

Joanne Kim: I'm really enjoying how I have more free time now than I did before this quarantine, when I was living in my dorm. I remember I would always have to plan out my schedule accordingly to all my extracurriculars and classes so I could have a bit of leisure time. It's not that I don't enjoy planning out things, but I am glad this quarantine gave me more of an opportunity to go with the flow.

Amber Chai: I enjoy catching up on books by my favorite author named Danielle Steel.

Rajvi Shah: Something that I really enjoy about home is the food. Because everyone is home now we usually make dinner together when everyone is free; which is more often than not. Its really nice to be able to eat hearty, good, home-cooked meals every day. I really like that I can make my own food when I need to during classes as well.

4. What is something not as great about being home? What are you struggling with?

Sophia Higgins: I really miss my friends. This year I met people who I feel incredibly close to, and whose presence in my life helps me in a thousand ways. We have so much fun together and the fact that I don't see them every day anymore is heartbreaking. I feel like I'm losing a part of my college experience.

Joanne Kim: I am struggling with the fact that I cannot go meet my friends on a regular basis anymore. Especially because I made some close friends earlier this semester, I am sad to not be able to spend time with them anymore as much as I used to when I was living on campus. I miss studying with them at Starbucks and getting RU Hungry at 1 AM in the morning.

Amber Chai: What is not great about staying at home is being unable to go out to new places and hang out with friends. So far, there is nothing that I am struggling with.

Rajvi Shah: At home, it's hard to have privacy; I have nowhere near as much privacy as I did when I was back on campus. I have two sisters, my parents, and my grandparents living with me, and we're all stuck in the house together, so everyone is always around. It's kind of hard to focus with my sisters arguing in the background and my grandma talking on the phone downstairs. I'm also finding it extremely difficult to maintain a regular schedule and get enough sleep: basically, it's hard for me to have a set routine and take care of myself. I stay up till 4am every day simply because I am not tired and I have become used to it. Furthermore, now that I am not in dance practice every night, I have to find the motivation to workout on my own, which I don't really have.

5. Is it hard to learn from home? Do you miss regular school?

Sophia Higgins: I'm still doing well in my classes, but I 100% miss regular school. I love seeing my teachers and their passion always inspires me to be more interested in the subject matter. It feels like some of the joy of learning is gone now that I can't attend a regular class. Also, some of the technology being used is very annoying.

Joanne Kim: It is a bit hard to learn from home. I am not the best with using technology so I was a bit stressed out when I realized that everything was going to be online from now on. I miss regular school very much, especially the feeling of being able to go to different classrooms and see new and old faces, and hear my professors talk about the things they are passionate about. I also miss a few of my professors, whom I really liked. I remember how some of their lectures were phenomenal and even made my day sometimes.

Amber Chai: Learning at home is not hard. I do miss regular school because I like face-to-face communication in the classroom and hanging out with my friends.

Rajvi Shah: It is kind of hard to learn from home because I lose focus very easily and get so distracted. I have to force myself to watch lectures, take notes, study, and attempt to do well. But it is also nice because now that I'm at home, I don't waste time on the busses which used to be such a big waste of time for me. I also don't have to travel to different campuses for my classes and can take them from my bedroom. Professors have been more than accommodating for me, which I really appreciate. Additionally, I can also do things on my own time without the pressure of dance and maintaining a good social life. I honestly feel like I learn better like this, so I don't miss regular classes as much as I thought I would.

6. What things are you and the people you are quarantining with doing to make sharing your space easier or to pass the time? What has worked, and what hasn't?

Sophia Higgins: My family and I live in a small apartment, but we are doing our best to share the space. We have established that just because we are together 24/7, doesn't mean that we need to spend time together every minute. We have all been very respectful of each other's workloads and obligations, but come together for meals and movie nights.

Joanne Kim: The people I am quarantining with and I are trying to find new fun activities to do while at home. We bought some board games and cards a couple of weeks ago to play with and help kill time. I am not the best at board games but I am willing to try something new. Especially if these things can help get rid of some of this boredom, I am up for it.

Amber Chai: The things that I and the people that I am quarantining with are doing are spending time together by watching TV, playing video games, and talking. Everything is going well without any problems.

Rajvi Shah: To make this easier for all of us, we have all tried to be respectful of each other's space. I let everyone know what my schedule is so they know when I'm busy and why I'm busy. This has worked for the most part, except for when some of my family members forget and barge into the room while I'm in the middle of a class. We've tried enjoying time outside in the backyard so we can all have fresh air, which has been good for all of us. Having zoom calls with extended family has really brought our family closer together; so far we've had a "talent show" and a "baking competition" over zoom with our cousins, which has been really cool to see. My parents learned that trying to force a strict routine on me and my sisters won't work in quarantine so they've let us be and figure it out for ourselves. We've all also tried to have separate spaces when we do our work so there's less chance of conflict.

7. What is the first thing you are doing when this is all over?

Sophia Higgins: When this is all over the first thing I'm going to do is hug all my friends.

Joanne Kim: The first thing I am doing when this is all over, is definitely going on a trip with my high school friends. We have been friends for 8 years now and so, we were actually talking about how we would celebrate our long friendship. Although we didn't get to decide the exact place we will be going to, we are certain that we will travel somewhere nice once this is over. We still have time to come up with a place we all want to go to, so we are not in a rush until this quarantine is over.

Amber Chai: The first thing that I am doing when all of this is over is to get my basic driver's license.

Rajvi Shah: The first thing I'm going to do when this is all over is go to taco bell with my friends because I just know that Baja freeze and Mexican pizza is going to hit differently.

This article was co-written with Joanne Kim, Amber Chai, and Rajvi Shah.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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