Ch. 10: How To Make the Most of College in Quarantine

Keeping Up with King’s follows the lives of King’s students as they transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. Many have moved back home with family until the summer, some have stayed in the city, others are staying with friends, but all are adjusting to new lifestyles.

Today’s story features Deborah Gonçalves, a Junior majoring in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Deborah serves as Scholar for the House of Susan B. Anthony and representative for Student Services. Before King’s transitioned to online classes, Deborah lived in on-campus housing in the Fidi. Currently, she is at home in Tampa, Florida with her parents and three chickens! Her mom has “attended” a few lectures with Deborah, but the chickens have not shown much enthusiasm. 

Here is how Deborah is making the most of college in quarantine:

  1. Count Your Blessings – When asked about doing school online, Deborah said “I cannot emphasize this enough. We have the best professors.” Her professors expressed a desire to accommodate students and help with the transition. For instance, Dr. Brand was lenient about paper source requirements from the NYPL, and Dr. Johnson took extra time to scan some readings into Schoology for his classes. Another blessing Deborah mentioned is the abundant Florida sunshine that has been improving her mood!
  1. Lean Into the Systems That Are Still in Place – Deborah has been translating her usual on-campus activities to her new work space: a desk in the middle of her living room. Being at a desk helps her get into the routine of being in school. She also makes sure to take notes in class, even on a Zoom call. This helps her stay focused and not “zoom” out. At the time of the interview, she was still working diligently with her House Interregnum team, only from a hammock instead of a classroom. 
  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Adjustments – Deborah mentioned that getting back into a working mindset was difficult because she was in the same place where she relaxed over Spring Break. One way she combats that is to do homework over Facetime with a friend. Each has their own music playing, but seeing each other work motivates both to concentrate. Another change is that, while she used to work her campus job after classes, she now does her work before class. She still spends a typical day at her desk taking care of school and work, just in a different order. 

Deborah has been intentional about channeling her “Florida Deb” side and her “New York Deb” side to work together. This balance has helped her count her blessings, lean into the systems she still has, and make some adjustments! What adjustments have you made with your #collegeinquarantine? 

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