College Compass | Five COVID-safe ways to relax

College Compass is a bi-weekly blog that aims to help students navigate the highs and lows of college life.


By Ana Altchek, Staff Writer

Midterms are in full swing, and it’s just about that time in the semester when students crave the reset button. As a graduating senior, disappointment barely sums up my feelings about missing out on my last college spring break. Yet the possibility of getting COVID-19 again, or having to stay in isolation for 14 days exceeds my desire to party for a few nights.

While clubbing on the boardwalk of sunny beaches in Miami sounds enticing, there are ways to relax this spring that will leave you feeling way more rejuvenated. Luckily, I’ve provided five fun and safe activities that will make you forget — or at least feel better — about the nonexistent spring break this semester.

Do some online shopping

As an avid participant in retail therapy, I can tell you that online shopping is a perfectly safe activity to do during a self-care day. Since you won’t be leaving your current location, you’ll probably save some money that you would’ve spent on travel and lodging. While you don’t necessarily need to splurge, a new top or pair of shorts may be a nice reward for your hard work this semester. Plus, as we head into the new season, you’ll probably need to revamp your closet a little at some point. So go ahead and make it a part of a self-care day!

Treat yourself to a spa day

Instead of going on a traditional spring break getaway, give yourself a mental break from daily stressors by setting aside a weekend to take care of yourself. My ideal spa day usually involves a little shopping, a face and hair mask, a rom-com and something sweet. Whatever your ideal day entails — plan it ahead and make a weekend out of it. A home spa day also doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive either. In fact, most drug stores have a variety of face masks or scrubs that go for a couple dollars each.

Have a special evening with your pod

Even though my roommates and I live together and see each other constantly, we don’t always get the opportunity to spend quality time together because we’re all busy and life gets in the way. So last self-care day, my roommates and I caught up on work during the day and reserved the evening for each other. We dressed up, took pictures, had dinner and drinks at an upscale Italian restaurant and ended the night with ice cream and a Bachelor marathon. It was much needed and a memorable evening that we’re all glad we put time aside to make happen. 

Plan a trip for the future 

Now isn’t the best time to get away. Instead of moping about it, though, maybe pick up a couple extra shifts at work and spend your energy planning your dream getaway for the summer when conditions are safer and you are vaccinated. By planning your trip in advance, you can get better deals, and you can devote your time to making sure your trip is safe. 

Just catch up

Okay, maybe this doesn’t sound especially fun, but it will make your life easier in the long run. Every once in a while when my life gets particularly chaotic, I reserve a day in my schedule to focus solely on catching up. Whether it be homework, job applications, networking or running errands, I carve out a large chunk of time to get it all done. While that day may not be overly pleasant, it makes my week way better and allows me to partake in more activities that I want to do throughout the week.

While spring break is definitely something all college students should experience, the world is so close to resuming normalcy that it’s worth waiting a few more months. Even if you don’t end up spreading the virus, facing two weeks of quarantine for a few days of fun in the sun isn’t an efficient use of time or money.   

Ana Altchek writes primarily about lifestyle, cultural issues and school-related tips for college students. Write to Ana at [email protected].