This isn’t how we imagined ending the year. We expected to be in the comfort of our University Center fourth floor home, hugging our graduating friends with bittersweet goodbyes, and packing up our belongings as we headed off to new, exciting summer adventures. Instead, as the spring semester comes to a close, most of us will be approaching our third month in quarantine. Unfortunately, we don’t know how much longer we’ll be stuck inside the confines of our childhood homes or San Francisco apartments, and many of us have relied on classes to add some structure to our days — or at least force us to act like functioning human beings. The unstructured nature of summer will likely throw us all for a loop, and, as a staff, we wanted to share some of the ways in which we will be trying to find a routine and build healthy habits for the upcoming months so that we can all stay sane.
According to Head Space, a popular meditation app, creating a routine provides great benefits for your mental and emotional health, as well as your productivity and creativity levels. In the same way you would want to keep up an exercise regimen to stay in shape, creating a routine for your life and mental well-being can help you stay grounded, particularly during the summer months when you don’t have your usual school schedule to rely on.
Of course, all of our routines are going to look different this summer. Some of us on staff love the predictability of a strict schedule, and the pressure of completing each task by a certain time encourages them; others thrive on chaos and change, so their daily routines might need to consist of different elements each day. We encourage you to experiment and figure out what works best for you, whether that be making a daily list of the things you want to do or simply waking up and taking each day as it comes.
Though many of us will not be taking classes this summer, we all still have responsibilities to attend to, such as household chores and remote jobs or internships. One strategy some of us will be utilizing to keep ourselves motivated is planning our day the night before, so when we wake up, we’ll already have an idea of what our day ahead looks like. Many of us also love using whiteboards and planners and making to-do lists, as the feeling of accomplishment we get from crossing off each item helps to propel us through the day.
Sleep schedules can also go awry over the summer, and many of us will be working to get our circadian rhythms back on track. Some of us at the Foghorn stay up into the late hours of the night and sleep until mid-afternoon, while others can’t imagine starting their day past 9 a.m. Whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, one strategy to maintain a sense of normalcy over the summer is setting a regular wake-up time, whether it be 8 a.m., 11 a.m., or 2 p.m. (which we don’t actually recommend). This way, you’ll have an idea of how much time you have to accomplish your tasks or enjoy your hobbies every day.
A lot of us on the Foghorn staff will also be exercising more this summer, or at least incorporating movement into our everyday routines. Whether we’ll be going on a mile run, working on doing a handstand, getting the hang of pull-ups, or trying to memorize every pilates routine on YouTube, there are many ways that each of us will be staying active. Don’t try to force yourself to become the next Simone Biles, and listen to your body when it needs to rest, but fitness is a great way to add something new to your routine and work on setting and meeting goals — especially at a time when so much is out of our control. Even just listening to your favorite music and dancing around can get your endorphins flowing.
Most importantly, routines are about figuring out what you want from your day and provide an opportunity for stability and self-improvement. The days feel long, but the weeks have flown by, and it’s easy to lose time to worrying about the coronavirus pandemic and existential dread. This summer will be very different from those in years past, and we urge you to be mindful about taking care of yourselves. Keep in contact with friends and family, continue channeling your creativity, and challenge yourself in new ways. And remember: quarantine will eventually come to an end, so just hang in there (and stay inside!) until it does.
FOGHORN SENIOR SPOTLIGHT
We feel for our graduating staff members who are missing out on a ceremony, but their hard work is not unseen. We are incredibly proud of them and can’t wait to see what they accomplish.
What is your favorite memory from your time at USF?
Kate Sagara: “Getting to go to Outside Lands and see Kacey Musgraves through the Foghorn, or getting to intern at a preschool through my Psych Practicum class and finding out just how much I love working with kids!”
Amie C. Lu: “Getting my first photo into the Foghorn back in 2017 when I first transferred from a community college. Photography has always been a hobby of mine and to see one of my shots printed, definitely encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing.”
Chris Francis: “Any of the late-night Dunkin/In-N-Out Ziptrips after theater rehearsals.”