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Pandemic creates changes for living space


Home is where the heart is, but what happens when your heart has been moved to a new location in a span of days?

Movement has taken all shapes and forms as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread across the world and communities attempt to ensure their safety. 

While the mentality shifts from this pandemic are often mentioned, it is also important to address the physical shift — changes in space and living conditions.

The decision to move for sudden reasons can be hard to process. Families must now cram kids into spare bedrooms and couples decide to move in together for the foreseeable future. 

Very big decisions are being made very fast. 

For college students, many do not have the luxury to stay on campus for the duration of this year. This situation — even for me — is heartbreaking. 

In an email sent from the UW-Eau Claire Chancellor’s office, students were told that the residence halls would close on April 4. The email also addressed alternative options for students who rely on the campus as their primary residence.

My current living situation is as follows: I eventually moved off campus, back to my hometown and I currently share a bedroom with my younger sibling.

Even though this situation is not ideal and, at times, is uncomfortable to accept, I choose to empower myself by sharing this reality — a reality that many students and individuals face at this very moment. 

Countless things appear to be affected by a physical change of location, whether it is as simple as noise levels or as complicated as returning to a toxic environment that may be dangerous. 

It is important to address that no matter how much you try to accommodate to a new space, it may never feel comfortable or like “home.” 

This is a hard pill to swallow, but is a truth that must be heard in order to provide support for those who may be struggling. 

In attempts to make my own positive space back in my hometown, I have tried to recreate as many positive memories from school as I can. 

This has included having a sectioned corner of my room to style, hanging up photos of Eau Claire friends and rearranging furniture to make the room layout comfortable.

As online classes have now commenced, I also have to keep in mind what sort of learning environment will function best within my new location.

On the first week of online instruction, the UW-Eau Claire Instagram page has published several tips to create an at home workspace. 

The list suggested eliminating clutter on your workspace, using natural light while studying, having a source of music to cancel out distractions and maintaining good posture to keep focus. 

For other people, this may look like creating an at home workspace for their job. As long as the space will serve the function you need it to, there is no correct way to accommodate.

We all are experiencing dramatic changes within our everyday life as the pandemic continues. Someone may be experiencing the same change as you, without even knowing it.

As this journey continues, sharing thoughts and experiences can be pivotal while navigating isolation. Each new stressor is real and is important to share with others if you can.

After all, home does not have to be a place, but rather, it is the people who are there to support you. 

Nelson can be reached by [email protected].