With the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Andover has enforced a seven-day quarantine period for both boarding and day students during the first week back from break. During this week, students were quarantined in dorms or private housing doing online classes from Monday, January 3 to Monday, January 10. Students commented on their experiences, and their essential items that brought them joy and motivation during quarantine.
Brian Masse ’23 – Sketchbook
After [doing online classes] for a year last year, [taking classes online] is decently easy now, especially with the freed up time you get from not having in person commitments and in person travel time. I find my own attention span kinda slips away during classes. I love to draw, so I have a few sketchbooks that I have ongoing, and have been using to cope with some quarantine stresses. I have noticed that as this quarantine continues, I turn to my sketchbook a bit more frequently to allow myself to have a time of quiet reflection. I find that whether I have had a longer and stressful day, or if I’m closing a dragging day of virtual classes, the drawings I create reflect that, even with it being done abstract, almost mindless doodles.
Nahila Hutchinson ’24 – Airpods
[Staying in quarantine has] been very boring to say the least. A lot of my friends are off campus right now, so it’s been a little hard without them. But this is a really good time to just catch up on anything that I’ve been needing to do. I’ve been taking up some new hobbies like journaling, solving some puzzles, stuff like that, so it’s not all bad. I [also] listen to music a lot. There’s a playlist for every mood. I wake up, put on my morning playlist, then, in between classes, I’ll listen to my regular playlist. That helps a lot, it’s a huge mood booster. I switch between Airpods and speakers for listening options, but I prefer Airpods because it sounds like the music is literally in your head. Also like when I’m alone, I don’t really get to listen to my speaker a lot, so it’s like a change, it’s nice.
Andie Shim ’25 – Fuzzy Socks
My quarantine life is going the best that it could be going. Even though there’s a lot of downtime, I’ve used that and turned it into a time where I can get ahead and work. Though, one thing I can’t live without [during quarantine] are the fuzzy socks that I wear. They have these super cute dogs [on them] that brighten and warm up my day. They are essential in keep[ing] my feet warm during classes and when I’m hanging out in my dorm room, especially since my room gets really cold.
Emmbrooke Flather ’22 – Room Decorations
I think not being able to see my friends outside the dorm has been hard for me [during quarantine]. It’s also freezing and I know some people like braving the cold, but I personally don’t wanna do that. My ears just can’t handle it. Instead, because I’m in [the room] so often, I feel like having my room decorations [has been] really nice. [Apart from my] pretty lights and a jellyfish lamp, I also have this button and next to the button there’s a sign that says “whatever you do, don’t press the button!” It’ll be fun for my friends to press the button, because [when you press the button] it sort of beeps and then it beeps more in intensity and it’s really not a fun situation and then I’ll be like “I told you so!
Christopher Xia ’23 – Water Bottle
I think the most difficult part [of online classes for me] is paying attention in class. It’s not the learning part, but I feel like it’s really hard to just stay focused on a computer screen especially since before, online classes were 40 minutes. But now you really feel that extra 35 minutes from the hour and 15 online classes: It gets really tiring. So I would say my [quarantine essential item] is my water bottle. I would spend the whole day in front of my laptop doing work or on classes, and then I’d get super thirsty. Just having my water bottle next to me also helps me focus a little bit. Drinking water when I am tired helps keep me awake and attentive to the things I am learning. I have different water bottles at home and at school. At home, I would sometimes drink tea, so I keep two separate water bottles for just normal water and tea.
Simi Gandhi ’24 – Piano
I practice a lot of music in my free time, piano and singing, which is really fun. Playing my instruments really just helps me bring out my creative side during quarantine and [lets me] focus on school because I use whatever energy I gain from that and put it into other aspects of my life. In staying positive and motivated during quarantine, my advice would be to find something to do that you really, really love and that you’re really, really motivated to do. Then, use that energy you have to do whatever that is and take it to your classes, to your school work, and to your quarantine life.