They say limitation breeds creativity, and as coronavirus cases continue to increase and more students are in quarantine as a result, they’re coming up with creative tactics to beat the boredom.
From Park Place to Michindoah to even off-campus houses, quarantine has become more than just a 14-day isolation period. For many, it’s become a place to build community.
When one of the guys at senior John Szczotka’s off-campus house, the BoonDocks, got contact-traced, the house decided they would rather quarantine the whole house than lose one of their tribe.
“We didn’t like the idea of them taking one of our guys,” Szczotka said. “We decided if one person gets contact-traced then we will shut down the whole house.”
Szczotka said that his housemates were able to bond with one another during the quarantine.
“We were very worried that we would hate each other by the end of it,” Szczotka said. “But on the flip side, we all got along well. We actually became a lot closer after quarantine.”
The BoonDocks boys found creative ways to stay busy. They took up cooking together and mixing drinks, which Szczotka said was a lot of fun. In addition, they hung a heavy bag for boxing in their basement for exercise and started a shared Minecraft server to play on together. They even created themed parties during quarantine.
“John Biscaro had a birthday during quarantine,” Szczotka said. “We did a ‘pub crawl,’ where each of our rooms had a different theme, drink, and type of music.”
Szczotka said he was glad that he and his housemates made the decision to quarantine as a house.
“All in all, it was a really nice way to spend quarantine,” Szczotka said. “The first four or five days were an absolute joy. Not having to go to class, no stress, and just partying.”
Seniors Liana Guidone and Danae Sollie, also quarantined in their off-campus house, CasaBlanca, after their roommate senior Sofia Krusmark tested positive. Yoga, Mexican dinners, and movie nights were all their to-do list. The group made the most of outdoor exercise, Guidone explained.
“Sofia and I have been taking yoga classes,” Guidone said. “Since we can’t go to yoga, we have been doing it in the backyard.”
The girls also made sure to say “hi” to all the students who walked by their house.
“Our house is next to a busy street,” Guidone said. “We see students walk by our house a lot, so occasionally we will pop our heads out the window and yell ‘hi’ and chat for five minutes across the lawn.”
Though the girls cooked a variety of meals throughout quarantine, Guidone’s house was also creative with the food Bon Appetit dropped off at their door.
“They dropped off a bunch of packaged blueberry muffins,” Guidone said. “I mixed it with eggs and milk that we had from before quarantine and made bread pudding. It’s kind of fun to do something with stuff when you have a little more time.”
Senior Leahi Johsens, who quarantined at Park Place after testing positive, took up knitting during her time there.
“I had knitting needles and yarn that I had stuffed into my room somewhere and never brought out to use, so I brought that into Park Place with me and started a beanie,” Johsens said.
Johsens also said that she and her quarantined housemate also made up some random games to keep themselves entertained.
“Saga sent us a lot of oranges, and we also had a lot of water bottles so we can have a game with a point system,” she said. “There were definitely creative juices flowing even though productivity as far as work was concerned was pretty low.”
Sophomore Ethan Tong, who was quarantined at Michindoh Conference Center, had the chance to make new friends from Galloway Residence.
“I knew a lot of them by name but got to know them a lot better when we hung out a little bit more and got to talk over our sorrow of quarantine,” Tong said.
Tong said there was camaraderie built between those quarantining together.
“We played a lot of volleyball because the weather was nice. We had some campfires and sang some worship songs,” Tong said. “We even set up a GroupMe so we could communicate about meals and times to meet up.”
Tong challenges others to look for new friends as well.
“Keep in touch with all of your friends, but don’t be afraid to branch out and meet new people,” Tong said. “Realize that there are other people there who are also in the same boat as you. Reaching out to other people and getting to know them is going to help your quarantine experience be more enjoyable.”
In addition, Tong achieved a fitness goal at Michindoh by knocking out 1,680 pushups.
“When I got to Michindoh, I made a goal to hit 300 pushups a day by the end of my quarantine,” Tong said. He said he worked up from 6 sets of 14 the first day to 14 sets of 22 by the end, a total of 308 pushups.
“First of all, set some goals for while you’re in quarantine for what you want to achieve,” Tong said. “If you don’t set up any goals you will end up sleeping or getting distracted.”
Junior Soren Moody used his time at Michindoh to grow closer with God, by taking peaceful walks every day around the lake each day.
“It was a great chance for me to have some solitude and silence,” Moody said. “It was like a Sabbath. It was very restful.”
Szczotka and Moody both encourage people who are going into quarantine not to lose hope.
“The key is not the situation you are put in, but how you respond,” Moody said.
“Get into hobbies,” Szczotka continued. “Find something to do as a unit. You’ll be closer to your friends because of it. Make the most of it. Keep moving. You can’t let yourself get stuck in the room. If you have housemates, do something with them. People need people. Lean on the people you have with you.”