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Social distancing for now? More free time? Here’s some things you can finally do

With the sudden closure of campus facilities and shift to online classes due to COVID-19, students may find themselves stuck social distancing from their friends at home. Here are five basic activities students can finally do with more free time on their hands:

FaceTime Your Friends

Rupali Reddy, a freshman biology major, said, “You can always use the internet to FaceTime your friends.” She saidthat being away from friends can be hard, but technology has made it easier to keep in contact. In light of the university’s attempts to protect its students, she predicted that students will feel lonely during isolation.

“You need other people to talk with especially if you’re just staying home,” Reddy said. “Contact with other people can keep you sane during all your time alone.”

Download TikTok

Juliana Spector, a freshman biology major, said she will be spending some of her free time on TikTok, a popular video-sharing app. “People love going on TikTok,” she said. “It passes a lot of time, especially when you’re bored.” 

Spector believed TikTok can be a form of entertainment for anyone. “It could be a variety of different things,” she said, speaking about suggested content. 

“It could be showing someone how to do something, it could be a dance video, it could be you doing something funny,” Spector said.  She also said using the app is another way to connect with people and “put yourself out there.”

Watch Netflix

Spector also looks forward to catching up on Netflix shows. “Season 3 of On My Block just came out and I think it’s really good,” Spector said. “There’s also Disney+ and Hulu, so there’s definitely a lot of things available.” 

Sakina Nathoo, a freshman special and elementary education major, recommended that bored students begin with Jane the Virgin. She said that Netflix “relaxes and distracts the mind when faced with the chaotic stress of COVID-19.” 

Since most students will be home for the quarantine, Nathoo also said she believes it is a safe option to pass time indoors. 

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Teach Yourself Something Fun

Cassandra Mirarchi, a freshman chemistry major, said she believes time can be spent learning a new hobby.

For students who decide to stay in the South Orange area, she said “You can teach yourself how to knit. It [yarn] is fairly cheap, it takes up time and it’s useful in the end.” 

Although students will have more free time on their own, Mirarchi does not view this as a break. 

“This is not spring break 2.0,” she said. Mirarchi said that this break is anything but relaxing as it puts pressure on people to still perform via online class and worry about exposing loved ones to the virus. 

“It’s a lot more stressful because it’s so uncertain,” Mirarchi said. “With spring break, we had deadlines. But this— you’re on lockdown. You don’t know when it’s going to end because they keep extending it.” 

Read a Book

Photo via Pikrepo

Although students will still be completing schoolwork, Alicia John, a freshman nursing major, suggested reading to pass time. 

“One thing that automatically comes to my mind is to read,” John said. “I’m not saying to read some complicated textbook or anything, but just pick up a good book that you’ve already read or one that’s been on your ‘to-be-read’ list and just read it.” 

John listed reading as one of her favorite hobbies and viewed quarantine as an opportunity to spend time with herself. 

“Reading just transports you to another world,” John said. “You’re immersed into a different situation and it’s like you’re with other people. So, technically, you’re not alone.” 

When asked which particular reads she suggests, John said, “I’m going to read every nostalgic book I can find, [such as] Harry Potter, things that I grew up with, things that give me comfort.”

Catherine San can be reached at


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