As the world gets engulfed into a pandemic with mass-hysteria and banging thaalis at the drop of a hat, what can one do till 31st?

Cramped up between internals and 9 AM lectures, we were dying for the mid-semester breaks, but no one, absolutely no one knew what was in store for us. On 12th March, the University of Delhi (DU) Registrar declared the postponement of classes, exams, internals till 31st March, 2020. Stuck within the four walls of your house, how can you make the maximum out of social distancing and quarantine? 


  • Bond With Your Family 

Agreed, not everyone has a healthy relationship with their parents and quarantine can take an emotional toll on them, let’s get together and cry over our collective trauma. For the rest of us, we cry our hearts out on ghar ka khana and mom’s remembrance, try to relive the pre-college days, try to re-bond and repair the broken threads of your family. As Karan Johan says, ‘it’s all about loving your parents.’


  • Binge! Binge! Binge! 

On a normal college-day schedule, we’ll spend the night away binge-watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, complaining the next day whilst missing the 9 AM lecture and bragging about our body’s ability to function in three-hours’ sleep. Now, all you got to do 24*7 is to binge your heart’s content out, and with absolutely no one asking you to go out. Aditi Gutgutia, a student of Lady Shri Ram College spends her time binge-watching on CID, reliving her childhood, you see. 


  • Reconnect With Your School Friends 

People change, old bonds break and there is no shame in trying to reconnect with them (unless they are toxic, then stay 3000 light-years away). They are probably just one call away and equally bored switching from one app to another. My personal favourite would be playing online games with them, online quizzes, drawing oranges, carrots, and bananas. 


  • Read & Write! 

That Agatha Christie that you bought from a book store in Kolkata is waiting to be touched, felt, explored, devoured. Open your bookshelf and finally finish that book you have been postponing since you started college. Great reads produce great writers, don’t forget to write, other than being a great coping mechanism and an outlet to channelise your deepest thought, writing is relaxing. As Prabhanu Kumar Das has been productively utilising the uncalled for breaks diving into his literature. “I have been reading my usual college readings, trying to expand on my understanding of marxism, reading Lenin, some Bukowski, I have been writing articles and poetry.”


  • Journaling

We wouldn’t have ‘The Diary Of A Young Girl’ unless Anne Frank journaled through the holocaust. Record. Write. Vlog. We are narrating the tales of COVID-19 and quarantine ruining our attendance and non-existent social life. Shakir Subhan or the ‘Mallu Traveller’ continued to vlog as he was admitted into an isolation ward at a government hospital in Kannur. Several patients have been regularly tweeting or maintaining blogs, tracking their symptoms and giving regular updates.


  • Do-It-Yourself! 

Those aesthetic notebook covers, t-shirts, gifts, phone covers, that you saw on a YouTuber’s video, do it, girl! All of us are going to come out as chefs and bakers with the over the top Maggi experiments and mud cakes. With time by our side, unleash your hidden creative genius and explore. Experiment and be the Rancho you always wanted to be, like Akshat Arora says, “I am so bored out of my wits that I uninstalled my Windows, downloaded Linux and then downloaded Windows again. My laptop hates me now.”


  • Meditate

Quarantine can take a toll on one’s mental health, increasing anxiety and making it extremely stressful for some. Center for Disease Control and Prevention enlists a set of guidelines on how to manage and cope with building anxiety and stress. Meditation can if not cure but reduce and help one calm their senses. Amidst raging fear, hysteria, and deaths, it is essential to look after one’s mental health too.


  • Chill Minus The Guilt

An idle mind is a devil’s workshop, or is it? Productivity guilt teaches you that it is pertinent to keep on working, be productive, produce any physical or tangible change. The pandemic hysteria can be too drastic on one, it is alright to sit idle, stare at the wall and contemplate one’s existence. Take a break. Year-long we are overwhelmed with assignments, internships, society, for once, as we are asked to stay put, in silence, do that, minus the guilt. 


  • Clean & Organise

Our life is a mess doesn’t mean our rooms have to be, too. Clear that wardrobe, fold that bedsheet, clear your study table, organise your bookshelf. My friends and I have uncovered childhood mark sheets and assignments from the bottom of our school bags. Help organise and rearrange the house, help your family out, stay hygienic, clean and sanitize!


  • Look Out For Others

Elderly and the immunodeficient are vulnerable to COVID-19. Keep your parents and grandparents under check, look after yourself, self-care is essential. In times of such dystopia, it is all the more important to stay strong and fight this together. 

Students of Mumbai University were met with an unforeseen postponement of their examinations, Nandini Sukhija, a student of the same, says, “I study a bit because my remaining four exams got postponed. Since all my family members are working from home, we usually find time to play cards or Ludo. I plan to spend a self-care day, using face masks and hair care products. I might as well start with a new tv series.”

Feature Image Credits: Anukriti Mudgil for DU Beat

Anandi Sen

[email protected] 

It’s that time of the semester again when outstation students pack their bags and head out to their hometowns, either to revel in the festivities or for some quiet family time. After 3 months of continuous slogging and assignment submissions, the days left to go home are crossed off each day till the much-awaited beginning of the mid-semester break arrives and the prospect of homecoming seems as sweet as your mother’s ladoos.

However, for all those students that are bound to stay in Delhi, the break can seem like a not-so-exciting prospect and might just eventually turn into boredom. The hours of endless unproductivity might just get to you after one point in time.

But let us look at it this way, the word ‘break’ itself literally is supposed to mean a break from all the things that you normally do. Simply put, a break from your schedule. It doesn’t really matter if all you are doing is catching up on your sleep for you haven’t had a lot since the semester began and probably won’t have a lot either once the exams begin. It becomes important that you just sit back, relax and eventually doze off.

Another thing that is advisable is spending time with your family and friends. Delhites live at home and meet their parents every day but in the rush of college hours that only lets you catch your breath at night before you go to sleep, it makes sense that you might not be spending a lot of time with your family. Similarly, maintaining school friendships can prove to be gargantuan since college takes precedence over everything at this point. Gather your group, make plans and stick to them.

Invest time in things you like to do such as reading, cinema, or even some sport. Exploring new genres of books that you might like, watching an abundance of French Cinema, improving your Squash, writing in ways you haven’t tried writing in before etc can really make your one week of break seem fruitful at the end of it.

For all those who love to travel, Delhi has a number of small hill stations in a 300km radius that can be explored. A short trip to hill stations like Kasol, Lansdowne, or places in Rajasthan like Jaipur or even closer to home, Agra, might make up for great mini vacation spots.

Having said all this, it is essential to note that the added pressure of making your break count and utilising it in the best way possible is just a construct. A break is what you want it to be and what you make of it.


Feature Image Credits: India Today

Anoushka Singh
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