Learning from home: Senior shares college experience during quarantine

Tati's bunnies

March 31, 2020

For the past three and half years, my life at the University of Illinois has been characterized by complaining about waking up early and pretending to be upset about spending hours with my favorite professors and friends in these classes.

On a typical day, my first alarm would go off by 8:30 each morning and I would lay in bed checking my social media and the weather. By 9, a second alarm sounds and I hop out of bed to pour myself far too much iced coffee and drag myself through a morning routine. 

Since the start of the lockdown, I wake up at 8:30 but I get started on whatever it is I need to do for the day the right way. I brush my teeth, grab my laptop, and I either begin working one of my jobs (I got lucky and all of them allow me to work virtually), or I jump right into classwork.

In some ways, the lockdown has made me much more motivated. 

It could be boredom, or the fact that I know that the only thing I have to do is my work on the daily docket.

I hold three jobs on campus. I am a grader for Journalism 200, one of the Mullaly interns for Illinois Public Media, and a marketing and communications intern for the College of Media. All of them were able to transition into a virtual setting and maintain the amount of hours that I previously had. They keep me busy so I don’t feel as though I am drowning in boredom like many of my peers. 

But when working and learning from home, there are unforeseen at-home distractions.

My roommates have been in and out of our apartment moving home all week causing a bit of chaos. In the midst of the move, classes on Zoom could begin at anytime, meaning absolute silence was required in whatever area of the apartment that we hoped to be studying in. (Zoom is a virtual video conferencing system that most professors have been using to continue class as normal as possible.)

People walking around in the background, connection issues, and learning on a new system have plagued students and teachers alike. For most lecture classes this works just fine but classes that require discussions are a little bit more difficult with people speaking over one another. 

Professors have been trying to lighten the load on students and make the rest of the semester more manageable. 

Choosing to stay on campus was the best choice for me. I knew that back home the distractions of moving back in with my either of my parents would have made trying to learn much harder. The campus environment is one of the main factors that has continued to keep me motivated and the quiet that has fallen onto campus is almost soothing. 

There are still students around but they are usually taking walks in between classes and trying to stay as isolated as possible for fear of getting sick.

Prior to the lockdown I would never go to sleep before 2 a.m. but since the start of remote learning I have been in bed by 10 p.m. and sleep soon after.

In my downtime during the lockdown, I have been cooking quite random yet extravagant meals (candied bacon cheesecake is not as good as it sounds) and taking care of my rabbits.

I have been a rabbit mother for a year now and knew that my little Clarence would not like me all up in his business all the time, so I rescued another rabbit right before lockdown. 

Winnie was kept in a small cage her whole life and is afraid of people so I knew making her love and trust me would be a challenge and I thought she was the perfect fit.

The three of us are learning to live together and are transitioning to the quarantine life rather nicely.

—Tatiania Perry, communications and marketing intern, senior in journalism