Monotony, isolation, boredom, stress, anxiety; all words that come to mind about the experience of living through a pandemic. It is not ideal for students’ mental health.
Nevertheless, it’s in human nature to adapt to difficult circumstances, and several students have redecorated their rooms in order to inspire themselves amid the tediousness of living during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Serena Alana Cardona, junior business administration major, said her mental health is affected by her environment and redecorating her bedroom has become her “new normal” during the pandemic. She enjoys switching her layout every week, getting daily inspiration from the social media app Pinterest.
She describes her room as a Zen environment, incorporating calmer tones such as white and beige colors, as well as adding plants and candles to add to the relaxing atmosphere.
“My room has definitely become my safe place,” Cardona said.
Alyssa Hernandez, sophomore biology major, said her best investment throughout this pandemic has been a new desk for her bedroom. It has become essential for online classes, as it gives her a comfortable setting to do her work.
“Some things that have helped me have been planning my week out in advance, color coding my planner for classes and getting a file organizer,” Hernandez said, giving her tips to succeed in online classes.
Mitchell Calderilla, sophomore musical theater major, said he prefers a minimalistic monochrome look for his room, specifically with a neutral color palette. He said he avoids things being cluttered by having all of his items organized and in a designated area. Calderilla said comfort is his No. 1 priority for online classes, so he always props a pillow and lights a candle to create a relaxing atmosphere in his bedroom.
Most of the students highlighted organization and cleanliness as their top priority, emphasizing how a clean room boosts concentration during classes.
Taylor Austin, senior education major, said her room has been the cleanest it has ever been during the pandemic. She said having a messy room made her feel overwhelmed. For her, keeping everything organized and clean creates a calming and relaxing environment.
Aiden Ramos, junior business administration major, said cleaning and organizing his room was the best way to make his room more comfortable during the pandemic. He removed childhood posters from his walls, threw away miscellaneous items from his drawers, rearranged his clothes and organized all of his personal belongings in different drawers. He believes a clean space allows him to think better.
Stephanie E. Hardwood, junior educational studies major, said constantly rearranging her room keeps her motivated. She added pictures that make her happy in front of her desk to keep her going when doing work or attending classes.
Hardwood has also bought a whole new bedroom set that is more convenient for online school. Her personal tip is keeping her room clean and accessible is key for success for online school.
Many students noted that having a designated space for classes made online school easier and more manageable. According to a study published at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, a cluttered environment diminishes students’ ability to focus, as well as it also limits the brain’s ability to process information.
Julieta Del Toro, sophomore theater major, emphasized that her room is actually really bare, incorporating a simple style after watching the documentary “Minimalism” on Netflix.
“My room is very minimalistic. There is nothing on the walls,” sophomore Del Toro said. “If it looks neat and organized then I’m at peace.”
Many students said they preferred a minimalistic style over extravagant décor.
Kathryn Ann Burleson, senior criminology major, said a cheerful atmosphere is her go-to style.
“I have surrounded myself with uplifting colors,” she said.
She also added pictures and crafts from her sorority, boosting her energy and motivation.
María Fernanda Reynoso, sophomore psychology major, said some elements she added to make her room more tolerable are oils and plants. She bought an oil diffuser and essential oils to aid relaxation and make her space more peaceful.
Moreover, students included elements that made them feel happy and comfortable in their rooms as a way to improve their mood and boost their positivity.
Andrea Molina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.