Pandemic Profs: a Social Distancing Spring Break

Alyssa Bauer poses at the top of Bear Mountain, NY.

Welcome to our series to give you a glimpse into Rowan University, our campus culture, and the lives of our students, while we’re practicing social distancing to protect society from the spread of COVID-19. Today’s story is from Alyssa Bauer, a senior holed up in her house in Bergen County, NJ, during spring break. Alyssa is a public relations major.

I am definitely not someone who enjoys staying in. I am actively involved on-campus, which forces me out of my dorm for at least eight hours a day. Being stuck in my home with only my mom and brother, although I love them very much, is quite an adjustment. To avoid complete boredom, I found some ways to accommodate and welcome this new challenge of social distancing, which is important for my health and those around me.

  1. Socializing while social distancing
    Just because I’m limiting who I physically hang out with, doesn’t mean I’m completely trashing my social life. FaceTiming friends is a great way to keep each other company, distracted, and sane. If you’re in need of some open space and fresh air, I suggest grabbing a friend and taking a remote hike!
    Alyssa Bauer poses at the top of Bear Mountain, NY.
    Here I am at the top of Bear Mountain in Upstate New York!
  2. Staying active 
    Laying in bed all day may seem tempting, but making an effort to keep your body moving will help ease built-up stress.
    Whether it’s yoga, Pilates, meditation or a combination of all three, take the time to find out what works for you. Working out breaks up each day and ensures I’m doing something positive with my day instead of binge-watching  YouTube videos.
  3. Cooking
    Cooking is a huge de-stressor for me. I use that time to log off of social media (mainly because my hands are dirty) and cleanse my mind of distress. Now that I have all of the time in the world, or so it seems, I’ve been experimenting with different time-consuming recipes. What better reward than a yummy meal?
    Photo of cooked chicken Thai curry.
    This past week, I cooked Thai chicken curry, which came out delicious!
  4. Watching movies
    I rarely have the time to sit down for two hours to watch a movie. I started re-watching my favorite sappy movies (starting with About Time) and going through my Netflix watch list. Yesterday, I watched The Place Beyond the Pines, and it was one of the craziest movies I’ve watched in a long time — definitely recommend.
  5. Reading books
    Another activity I enjoy doing but usually don’t have time for is reading. However, I am now making an effort to replace screen time with book time.
    Photo of Educated by Tara Westover
    I just started reading “Educated,” by Tara Westover.
  6. Limiting caffeine consumption
    I love coffee. I love the taste, smell and comfort of holding it in my hands. However, it took me until my senior year of college to admit consuming more than one cup a day is a recipe for disaster. Too much caffeine makes me feel anxious, and adding stressors to a new routine will not help the adjustment. Take note of how you feel with the amount of caffeine you’re drinking.
  7. Finding peace
    The entire world is affected by all of this chaos in different shapes and forms. I, among my fellow soon-to-be graduates, are hurt over abrupt goodbyes, event cancelations and job losses. As hard as it may seem, we have the opportunity to exhibit humanity through our reactions.
    Behaving in deviance will not lead us to health. Be safe, be distant and wash your hands. 

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Story and photography by:
Alyssa Bauer, senior public relations major