By Kelcey Norris
Two weeks feels much longer than you would expect. Two weeks takes a lot of time. Two weeks feels like two eternities.
This is a sentiment I’ve heard from others who’ve been in quarantine, but I didn’t understand it fully until I experienced the two weeks myself. Others experience much longer stints of time in lockdown, but two weeks was all I needed to start missing the little day-to-day interactions.
Cut off, I actually started to miss attending classes. I missed updating my friends on the little triumphs and frustrations of the day. I missed the daily friendly conversations with Chad, the barista at Starbucks in Maag Library, which always help start my day on the right foot. Rest assured, I happily ordered my regular, venti hot white chocolate mocha, the day I was released.
I missed walking across campus every day, so I started doing laps outside my apartment to escape a bit. The rest of the time I was practically pacing in my bedroom, missing the days I could go to the gym or the mall to clear my head. What made it worse was my car stalled out that week and my room key was malfunctioning. This extra stress made me feel even more trapped, unable to leave for fear of not being able to get back in. The air in my room became so congested and stuffy after I’d been there for two weeks.
I began to hate relocating from doing homework in my bed to my desk, then going right back to my bed at the end of the day. It was monotonous, annoyingly the same day in and day out. I thought an introverted person like myself would enjoy this extended stay-cation.
But it was completely worth it. If I hadn’t quarantined, I risked spreading the virus. I was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and, after self-reporting, was advised by the university to quarantine for two weeks. While complying with their recommendation, I received my own test results: negative, twice.
Despite understanding the logic of it, I struggled with feeling guilty while in quarantine. I felt guilty for not being there to lead my Jambar team. I felt guilty for not going to class, frustrated and feeling like I was falling behind. I felt angry that even after negative results, I couldn’t return to normal life quite yet. My appetite wasn’t right and it became increasingly hard to focus on work I needed to get done.
My advice to others having trouble in quarantine: don’t blame yourself. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family. You’ll feel like you’ve missed a lot in two weeks, but you can also learn a lot about yourself in that time.