All the emotional stages of self-isolating at uni from ‘I can’t do this’ to ‘enlightenment’

The banana bread phase only lasts so long

Coronavirus cases are absolutely blowing up across British universities. If you’re a uni student right now, the chances are you either know several people self-isolating or you’re isolating yourself. If you’re lucky and don’t manage to actually contract the virus (fingers crossed), then self-isolation is just two weeks of staying inside and waiting around.

Back in March, staying inside your flat for two weeks seemed like the end of the world. Now, it’s just a thing we all have to do. Is it ideal? Not at all. But we’ll all get through it, one loaf of mediocre homemade bread at a time.

Self-isolation starts strong for everyone with dreams of productivity and at-home yoga. Soon enough it all comes crashing down when the lack of fresh air actually begins to affect your brain (and that’s just day three).

Here are all the emotional stages of a uni self-isolation.

Day one: I can do this!

Day one barely even counts as a day. It’s, dare I say, even kind of fun. You have big dreams of productivity: you wake up in the morning early to actually do uni work, eat three square meals and even schedule in an at-home workout. Vibes are immaculate and you finish the day thinking you’re going to be absolutely fine.

At-home yoga doesn’t last for long

Day Two: A bit of the same

Day two looks exactly like day one, minus the initial excitement. It’s a bit boring but manageable.

Day Three: Banana bread

You might think that the homemade bread comes later in the isolation. You’re wrong. Day three is the perfect mixture of boredom but still enough sanity that you can actually do something useful like make a loaf of banana bread. Plus, it takes up your whole afternoon. By the evening, you’ve eaten the entire thing and spent just a bit too much time staring out the window. It’s going downhill.

Nice dinner? Completed puzzle? It must be isolation

Day Four: Denial and TikToks

Waking up on day four, you know things have changed a bit. Maybe you’ve slept in just a bit too late. Maybe you spend more time on Instagram than doing your work. Maybe you’ve started to notice how much you miss the fresh air. Insanity is coming your way, but it’s only day four. You don’t want to think about that. So you spend the day making TikToks with your flatmates. That’s physical activity right?

Day Five: Did my bedroom just get smaller?

Day five feels like the beginning of the end. You haven’t left the house in almost a week, and you’re not even halfway through your isolation period. And your groceries are running thin. You make a few more TikToks today, but you don’t actually enjoy them. You start drinking by 4pm.

The gin starts early

Day Six: I don’t like this anymore

Today is not a good day. You might try baking something or attempting one of your new craft projects (it’s every student’s dream to stay inside and quilt?), but it just doesn’t feel right. Initial excitement is over. Now, it’s real.

Day Seven: Halfway second wind!

Day seven is actually a bit better. After all, you’re at the halfway point! You get a second wind, and you have a productive and almost fun day. You get to place a grocery order to replenish your snacks. Maybe you even get to take one of your bins out.

The thrill of quilting only lasts so long

Day Eight: That didn’t last long

The burst of energy that came with hitting the halfway point doesn’t really last. You still have a full six days remaining in your isolation, and that fact hits hard. Today is spent playing Wii and eating beans out of the tin.

Day Nine: There’s no end in sight

This is where you really start to lose what little sanity you had to begin with. You want to murder your flatmates. The walls have started speaking to you. You’ve stopped setting alarms or paying attention to meal times. On the plus side, your flat mice make for excellent conversation.

Day Ten: This sucks

Maybe you get out of bed today, maybe you don’t. Who even cares anymore?

Not even themed baked goods can save you

Day Eleven: I need to make this count

Day 11 is the day that panic sets in: you’re almost done with lockdown, yet you’ve accomplished nothing. Weren’t you going to use this time to read a book and spend some time with yourself? How can you spend two weeks inside and have nothing to show for it? All 10 days of the workout programme you missed get pushed into today. You also bake another cake because no one gets to question your productivity if you’ve baked something. At least that’s what you tell yourself.

Day Twelve: Who am I?

Day 12 is the day of the existential crisis. You have spent so much time with yourself that you’ve actually become unrecognisable. You spend the day crying at photos from before isolation and promise you’ll never be so carefree about life again. Your evening is spent drinking wine and vlogging on your close friends Instagram story.

Sometimes sitting out the window is all you have

Day Thirteen: Inner peace

You wake up on day 13 with a certain calm you have never experienced before. Maybe it’s the wine hangover, maybe it’s inner peace. You spend the day doing adult colouring sheets and offering sage advice to those who aren’t as enlightened as you. You tell yourself you could do this forever.

Day Fourteen: Thank GOD

Yeah, on second thought, you definitely could not do this forever. The real world is calling, and you’re running low on wine. It’s been real. Let’s never do that again.

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