I am spending quarantine in the ‘box room’ and it’s not great
But I have some advice for you if you have also drawn the bedroom short straw
Before I start, I feel like I have to add some context. I am so grateful to be able to spend lockdown in my family home, since Lancaster uni announced that third term would be moved online. I appreciate how lucky I am to know we are all safe and well, with plenty of food and warm beds. You gotta check your privilege from time to time. However, none of this takes away from the fact that my parents turned my bedroom into a ‘gym’ the moment I left for uni. As a result, my new room is reminiscent of a cupboard, a locker, a changing room cubicle, or something else small and unimpressive…
Size doesn’t always matter of course! I don’t want this to come across as spoilt, I am so appreciative of my little space, but it has meant I have had to adapt and change most aspects of my life to try and stay productive. I figured a few students would relate to my situation, so if you find yourself in the dreaded box room, here is some of my expert advice.
Your bed is everything
I don’t mean that in a sentimental way. I mean that your bed is literally your whole room. It becomes your desk, your floor space, your breakdown zone. If I lay out straight my feet sit flat against the wall on the other side of my room, so morning stretches can be an issue. Sometimes when I turn over in my bed, I can knock over things on the opposite side of the room, so you always have to respect the massive presence your bed has. It rules over your space like a huge comfy king. Making sure it looks neat everyday keeps your room looking clean, and perhaps even makes it feel a little bigger.
Laying on the floor isn’t really an option
I used to spend hours procrastinating by staring at my ceiling in a gently panicked state of crisis, instead of actually doing any uni work. Now, I don’t fit on the floor. Perhaps that’s just because i’m a bit tall, but I do miss being able to stretch out in all directions on carpeted goodness. Now, I actually just do the uni work, because I have nowhere to put it off. I guess the box room has a purpose.
Books take up more space than you’d think
If you are a bit of a bookworm like me, you may have to borrow some shelf space from your family members bedrooms. I managed to bag a bookshelf in my sister’s room, but my uni textbooks have had to stay on my desk. Unsurprisingly, a small bedroom means a small desk and when a textbook is the only thing you can fit on your desk space, writing essays can prove to be difficult. I guess this is where the bed comes in useful again.
Under your bed is everything
Okay, I retract my first point slightly. Under your bed is perhaps the most important bit of space. It is critical that you understand that my bedroom floor is unequivocally my wardrobe at the moment. It is so difficult to keep everything in neat piles though, I am not gonna lie, so I just cover the side of my bed with a blanket and give the allusion of order and calm.
You have an excuse not to work out.
With gyms closed, I presumed I would just work out in my bedroom at uni. But alas, my decision to quarantine with my family has meant I lack the space to do anything active. That’s not so bad though, i can’t be toooooo hard on myself. I mean, there literally is no better time to be lazy than during a worldwide infectious pandemic.
Living in a box room can serve up some inconveniences, that’s for sure. If nothing else, just trying to do my degree online and on my bed has proved to be very difficult. However, if corona has taught me anything other than how to perfect banana bread, it’s that you have to milk the most from every the situation. I am happy I have somewhere safe to be during this crazy time. If you find yourself locked down in the tiny room, I hope you can find this advice useful.
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