Things might seem a bit bleak right now if you’re a student who’s been locked down in your university halls. The news has been dominated by stories of you guys being put into a lockdown that may or may not even be legal, and to be honest, we know it must really suck.
Keeping up your spirits during this crazy time might feel like an impossible task, especially when all you want to do is to have the Fresher’s Week you were promised or just to go home to your family, but it is also incredibly important to try to remain positive. That’s why we’ve put together a list of things you can do that will help build you up, connect with your flatmates and try to put a smile on your face.
Keep your space as clean as you can
It might be tempting to make a mess and throw your stuff everywhere when it’s the first time you’re living away from home, especially when you’re in a pretty difficult situation right now. But keeping your space tidy and organised is a great way to keep yourself from feeling low. If your environment reflects something negative, it’s easy for that to manifest in your brain.
Get your family to send you care packages if they can
If you are having trouble adjusting, or feel like you don’t have the money to spend on things you usually enjoy at home, ask your family to send you a few things to make it easier. It’s a tough time right now, and having a connection to home will for sure make you feel better.
Order a food shop online, and get some treats in there too
If you can get a delivery slot, get a food shop in and make sure you are putting a few pick-me-ups in there as well. Whether it’s something delicious for dinner, a few sweet treats to keep in your room or anything else, take care of yourself right now.
Get familiar with your course materials for when things start up again
It might feel like there isn’t much point in working on course materials when you aren’t getting a lot of communication from uni when you might even be able to begin. But using an hour or two a day to figure out where your classes are on google maps, ordering reading materials and getting stuck into the first few chapters, or anything else, is a great way to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Have a game night with your flatmates…
You know when your parents would always make you play endless rounds of monopoly when it rained on a family holiday? Well now might be the time to break the board out again. Get a game night set up with everyone you’re isolating with. You could even turn it into a way to get to know everyone better – you’ll be best buds by the end of the two weeks.
…Or even a room crawl in your flat
If your flatmates are all up for it, why not turn every room into a different theme. You don’t have to drink, you could just have games and music and food that goes with each theme. We’re thinking 90’s, we’re thinking punk, we’re thinking top 40 – whatever you want. Why not take it even further and order a few costumes from the internet and each room resident has to dress along their theme. We guarantee it will make for a memorable flat snap at the end of the evening.
Lockdown got you down? Maybe the pandemic is putting strain on your relationship? Check out our coronavirus support hub for advice and support on issues the outbreak might have caused you
Stay connected with friends and family
Being away from home for the first time can be difficult enough as it is, even when you aren’t quarantined with people you didn’t know literally two weeks ago. Make sure you stay in contact with your family, who will want to know you’re safe. Book in some zoom quizzes or movie nights with your friends from home and lean on them if you need to. Things won’t seem so bad, knowing there are a lot of people in the world who care about you.
Try and find a little space to do some exercise at home
Exercise will make you feel happy. That’s it. The best natural serotonin booster is to get your blood pumping so if you have room, clear a little space to set up some yoga or at-home circuit training. During the national lockdown, YouTube was flooded with literally thousands of videos, and most gyms now offer virtual memberships for online-only classes. It will make you feel more awake, give you something to focus on every day and add a little routine to your life that might be a little rootless at the moment.
Talk to someone you trust if you feel like you need to
Whether that’s a family member, friend, new flatmate or the university pastoral team, talking to someone about how you’re feeling is the healthiest thing to do. Asking for help when you’re having a difficult time is not a sign of weakness, and you will feel better knowing there is someone else out there who can either help you or at least just listen to what you have to say.
Remember this won’t last forever…
It might feel like this is going to go on forever, but it won’t. You will be able to go to class. You will be able to leave the lfat. You will be able to explore your new town or city. You will be able to go home and see your family and friends. This is not forever.
…And we are here if you need us
If you feel like you need to talk to someone, reach out to our community here for a space to connect with others on the issue and receive anonymous support and advice from one of our trained Digital Mentors.