Freshman Derrick Lameman

“Well, I’m here on campus and keeping myself busy is definitely something I need to do. For one thing, I’m back on campus because I don’t have internet access at home. I’m from the Navajo reservation and not much is offered in terms of Wi-Fi, so I had to come back.

“To keep myself busy, I’ve been waking up pretty early, like at 5:00 [a.m.] to go running at 5:30 [a.m.]. I usually go 4 miles or 5 miles depending on my schedule that I’ve set up for myself. I run with a friend who is very active as well. When we get done running, we go to the fields and stretch out and then we practice these traditional Alaskan games, which are different styles of kicking. Back in March, myself and three other of my friends participated in the Alaskan Youth Olympics and we had fun. The events were based on traditional Alaskan games, so we definitely like to keep ourselves busy with that. I’ve taken up skateboarding. I’m not good at it, but quarantine has got me trying new things lately. I also like to draw and listen to music. I’m currently exploring new genres.

“These activities keep my mind off of being bored and stressed. Moving to online classes is definitely difficult and much more frustrating, in my opinion, and these activities allow me to step away from schoolwork, stress, and overthinking and just focus on myself in a way. It’s like each activity I do is a way to better myself. Like running and kicking is improving my physical fitness and challenges me to try harder. Drawing allows me to be creative and express that side of me and music allows me to explore while staying quarantined. Skateboarding is a cool hobby I picked up.

“I think when it comes to physical things, people have to be patient, especially running and with these Alaskan games. Everybody wants to run fast, yet they don’t understand it’s a process to get there. Same for kicking. I guess the first step is acknowledging that you’re going to get where you want to be no matter what — it just takes time. I had this tutor in high school who would always tell me, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’ With drawing, I say it’s just being creative and expressing what you feel at the moment.”

Freshman Jennifer Ramos

“The thing that has been keeping me busy while school is online is video games. Since my hometown has been put on a restricted quarantine, being indoors all day can drive you insane. With this outlet of being able to still communicate with my friends and have fun, it provides a getaway from everything going on."

“For me, playing multiple video games has always been something I can do for hours on end. Being able to have your own version of this can create the same experience.

“Although classes may be online, it is important to balance both school and mental health. Without giving yourself access to fun activities, it strains your mind. Remind yourself that it’s OK to take a break so often with whatever you find entertaining.”

First-year transfer student, Jeanine Horio

“Not having to spend an hour or so sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture that I could probably teach myself through a textbook gave me more time to read for my classes versus skimming the reading materials we are assigned.

“I guess my situation is a little different from a lot of students on campus. I moved completely away from home. I have not been back to my hometown since I left for the fall semester. I moved in with my grandparents who are in Phoenix since home is 3,000 miles away from campus and there really has not been a dull moment. Since moving out to Flagstaff for school, between August and now is probably the most one-on-one time I have spent with them in years. I have always had such a good relationship with them since I was a kid and because of how strong and close our relationship is, I have been able to really open up to them, especially my grandma, who I have a much closer relationship with.

“I think finding a hobby, picking up on an old hobby or partaking in something you’ve always wanted to do, but either never had the time to do or was never motivated enough to do it, now would probably be a good time to go ahead and achieve that. It doesn’t have to be something so extravagant or extreme, but maybe if there’s a TV show you’ve always wanted to binge on Netflix or Hulu, or if there’s some type of decor you’ve been wanting to DIY for your dorm or apartment next school year, I think now would be a good time to do that. Something creative or relaxing to do can help de-stress and take your mind off of school for a while instead of having to constantly be studying and doing homework.

“Another thing I think people should consider is to not resort to eating all day. I know with being college students, a lot of us tend to run on coffee, energy drinks and things like the microwave ramen because a lot of us can’t cook and are either working a minimum wage job or relying on our meal plans. So, being home with good snacks and home-cooked meals is probably the best thing that’s happened to us this semester. Resorting to eating all day and not leveling it out by getting some type of exercise throughout the day will only do no good for our health in the long run.

“I know people have younger siblings or relatives. I don’t have any around me at the moment, but my younger sister, who’s a high school junior, has been going to my aunt’s house a couple of times a week to help out my 9-year-old cousin with his homework. For anyone with younger siblings, relatives or family friends, I would recommend trying to help them with their homework when you need a break from your homework.

“About a week or two before spring break, I was studying and writing papers for midterms, and I wanted to find a way to de-stress other than scrolling through social media and watching Netflix, YouTube or Hulu, so I ordered a coloring book on Amazon and it occupies a couple of hours of my time when I want something to do. I know that Amazon is prioritizing its orders based on essential needs right now, but if you can, order a coloring book on Amazon or go buy one on your next grocery shopping trip to Target or Walmart.

“I’ve always been really into music, so I’ve been reorganizing my playlists and discovering new music on Spotify. I think it’s a good way to occupy time and instead of constantly skipping songs through a large library of music, you can make playlists based on moods or based on ones you listen to on a daily basis, when you work out, etc.

“I think I’ve always had an interest in baking, just never really picked up on it or found the time to do it. I baked some snickerdoodle cookies with my grandma the first weekend of quarantine after spring break, which I think is something other people can do, too. It passes time and gives you something to do while studying. You can get some reading in or complete parts of your assignments while waiting for something to bake or while you have to let something sit for a few minutes. People can start out with things like cake mix from a box or the already made cookie dough that’s sold in grocery stores. I know that there’s a lot of sugar in things you can bake, but maybe finding a recipe that’s keto friendly or something along those lines would probably work, too.”