Written by: Mary Kuczkowski, Class of ‘22
My spring semester began with a call from Contact Tracing. I was informed that I was to quarantine for the next ten days because of an exposure to COVID-19. They gave me 90 minutes to gather my belongings and head over to the Paramount Building. Although this was hardly how I expected my semester to begin, I loaded up my beige laundry cart, took a couple of deep breaths, and prepared for what felt like a walk of shame down Boylston and across to Paramount.
Long story short, I was given a suite to myself. I moved in and set up just in time for my 4 pm class on Zoom. Despite the obvious stressors of being alone in a new space for several days at a time, I was thankful that my time in quarantine would be spent during the “stay in room” order and none of my in-person classes would be missed.
A highlight of the experience would have to be when my friends and I hopped on this website called backyard.com. We had found the site through TikTok where it was advertised as a place to virtually hang out and play popular board games. We ended up playing games like Pictionary and Cards Against Humanity late into the night. Although many of ours computers were huffing and puffing to support the game, shouting over our computer fans was more than worth it to spend some quality time together.
All in all, quarantine wasn’t too bad. I owe a great deal to my friends for helping me keep my sanity and enjoy several moments throughout the long days. There were countless Facetimes and audio messages shared among us and a friend of mine and I would wave across the hall when we grabbed our meals. It is the small moments like those that I will cherish for a long time. Also, a big shoutout to everyone who helped me throughout my quarantine. Whether it was dropping off meals, delivering my packages, or answering my questions, I couldn’t be more appreciative of the support I received throughout my stay at Paramount.
I may have been physically alone, but my friends were just a click, text, call, (and actually a hallway) away. It would be an understatement to say, we took full advantage of that. There were good morning texts, check-in phone calls, and a couple of nights where we Facetimed and watched Dance Moms to pass the time. We also explored the art of the audio message. They are just so convenient! Forget about guessing the tone, energy, or purpose of a text, with audio messages we could vent and share snippets of our days instantly. Although it may not be the best platform for professional communication, it couldn’t have been more perfect to mimic our precious but brief communication pre-quarantine.