High Point University

How I survived quarantine during COVID-19

Keeping a planner with your assignments increases productivity. Photo from Minimalistic

By Ally Ortolani

Opinion Editor


Let me first say this: living with my parents for an unexpected six months wasn’t something I fancied. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents. But I’m sure many can agree that being around one’s family for an elongated period of time isn’t necessarily ideal. 

Hearing my parents ask, “What time will you be home?” or say, “Be home by midnight,” isn’t what I want to hear as an adult. Tensions were high with my father working from home full-time and my mom nagging me to wake up at a reasonable hour. But we still love each other.

So, how did I manage to stay somewhat sane? Take a seat, and read along.


Planning the day, and having a schedule

As an extremely organized person, planning my day is essential. When classes were still in session last semester, I wrote down what I wanted to complete on that day.

In a study by Sung Hee Kim, a psychology professor and researcher at the University of Kentucky, students who committed to a micro-action of using a planner reported “positive changes in their lives. The study participants achieved a greater sense of being organized, less stressed, better time management and, best of all, improved academic performance.” 

I owe much of my academic success to maintaining a planner and schedule, as well as the lessons I’ve learned from my mother, who showed me just how insane a person can be about being organized.


Eating healthy

I was vegan for nearly three years and didn’t eat meat for five years. Since I decided to start eating meat again, I always make a conscious effort to eat healthy, especially during quarantine. As someone who has dealt with eating disorders, making sure I ate enough was also a priority for me. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, but it should be of the utmost importance to stay healthy to reduce stress.


Spending quality time with friends my boyfriend

Living at home for nearly six months was stressful enough, but my boyfriend, living only 10 minutes away from me, made my time at home more enjoyable. I was fortunate enough to go to his lake house in Lake George several times this summer. This meant plenty of kayaking, swimming, hiking, taking boat rides and tree-climbing. Since I wasn’t able to go to a gym all summer, my little vacations were jam-packed with physical excursions that helped me stay fit and healthy.  


Shopping online

As a broke college student, I should not spend extra money, especially on sweatpants. I think I overdid it on the number of sweatpants I bought. And they are not cheap. Buying a product known as Comfy, which is a blanket-sweatshirt that closely resembles the infamous Snuggie, was the best purchase I have ever made in my life. I say this, as I wear my Comfy writing this very article. If you don’t own a Comfy, I highly recommend purchasing one on Amazon.


Practicing Italian 

As an Italian studies minor, speaking and writing in Italian is an undeniably important way to practice my skills. During quarantine, I used apps like Duolingo and Busuu to go over verb conjugations, sentence structure, pronunciation skills and more. Talking to my Nonno in Italian, as well as exchanging text messages in Italian, allowed me to keep my Nonno company and gave me another outlet to practice during quarantine.



I have a horrible addiction to TikTok. Wake up? TikTok. Using the bathroom? More TikTok. It is so easy to get lost in the undeniably addicting app; however, what else was I supposed to do with all this time on my hands? I even dabbled in making videos with my mother. If I didn’t have TikTok, I don’t know if I would have survived.