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A Day At Penn State…At Home

It’s been more than two weeks since Penn State announced its students would be finishing the rest of the semester remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of students are now adjusting to a different daily routine that unfortunately doesn’t include Starbucks runs to the library, waiting in long lines in the dining commons, and trips downtown.

As one of those thousands of students, I too have been wondering how I am going to keep myself from going crazy while stuck at home until the fall.

To cure my quarantine blues, I decided to try and recreate my typical day at Penn State from the comfort of my home. It definitely won’t be the same, but it might bring some sort of sanity and structure into my life.


9:30 a.m.: My alarm goes off as I told myself I would wake up early to study for a really important test. That definitely wasn’t going to happen, so I fell back asleep.

10:30 a.m.: Okay, I get up for real this time. The first thing I do is check Twitter, like always, to get my morning fix of depressing news and viral tweets. I get ready as if I would be heading to class by rocking a typical ‘fit of sweatpants, and a sweatshirt. I brush my teeth, wash my face, and get ready to pretend to sit in Thomas 101 like the good student I am.

11 a.m.: Before going to pretend Thomas 101, I make myself a nice typical college breakfast for those who are broke and busy (read: coffee and coffee only). I put it in my little travel cup and get ready to ~grind~ out some Comm 403 questions in my living room.

11:30 a.m.: This is normally the time when I would leave for class from my apartment, so I put on my shoes and walk to Thomas 101 the family office. I’m here 40 minutes early so, guess I’ll just wait for the rest of the class to show up… How rude of them!

12 p.m.: I normally don’t show up to class this early, but because of remote learning, I get on Zoom and wait for my girl Cindy Simmons to give us our multiple-choice exam. Lucky for me, it’s virtually the same as our practice exam. Huge dub, folks.

12:27 p.m.: With Zoom finally turned off, my test done, and lunchtime quickly approaching, I’m really missing my post-Comm 403 routine right about now. Normally after class, my friends and I go to Redifer Commons to crank out some homework, down some paninis, and vibe. Today, I forced my family to be my friends sat with them at our kitchen table, which will further be known as Redifer Commons. They didn’t stick around for long and claimed they had “stuff” to “do.” Sad!

A family that vibes together stays together.

1:17 p.m.: I usually order a bagel and an iced caramel macchiato on my break, but bagels sadly don’t exist in quarantine. I settle for an English muffin and black iced coffee. Time to start my pain math homework!

2:34 p.m.: I got done as much math as I could tolerate today and decided to head to “my apartment” and eat something. I get up from “Redifer” and take three steps into my kitchen, where I have my usual struggle meal. I’m the worst at going to the grocery store and end up surviving solely on carbs at school. Although my home kitchen is rightfully fully stocked, I keep up with my routine and have a spread of graham crackers for lunch. Delicious and nutritious!

2:51 p.m.: Since we’re in quarantine and want to #FlattenTheCurve, I can’t see my boyfriend, Ryan, at all. I settled for annoying him through FaceTime instead. Little did I know he was just going to be hooping the whole time because, as the saying goes, ball is life. h.

3:40 p.m.: It’s quiet around here without my roommates. Around this time, we’d all be at the apartment together and at least one of us would be crying about school. I text them to see what they’re up to. Mackenzie bought an Xbox just for quarantine, while the other two losers didn’t text me back.

4:07 p.m.: When I have downtime at school, I normally watch Netflix, check social media, or just waste my time. I’ve had a lot of downtime in quarantine, so my screen time notifications have been off the charts. There’s no need for Apple to remind me that I spent five hours on Tik Tok yesterday because that’s not going to stop me from going on Tik Tok again right now. Ah, well. All stonks are good stonks.

4:48 p.m.: I got bored of Tik Tok and wanted to get out of my house. When it’s nice outside, my friends and I go to the HUB lawn to play music and toss the ol’ disc, as the hip kids would say. I don’t own a frisbee at home, but here’s me practicing social distancing on my front lawn instead.

6:10 p.m.: One of my favorite places to go out to eat up at school is Faccia Luna, where I love to enjoy a nice Margherita pie. When my friends are all free, we love going there to catch up and take a break from the hustle and bustle of school. I tell my parents that I’m making a frozen DiGiorno pizza tonight in place of Faccia, and they’re not happy. It’s not delivery, it’s lockdown.

7:24 p.m.: It’s Thursday, so you know what that means. I get ready to “go out” by showering, putting on jeans, and rounding out the outfit with a nicer shirt. I realized I left pretty much all my makeup and jewelry at school, so I’m really struggling right now. Beauty is pain.

9:07 p.m.: Alright, I’m ready to go. I will not be leaving my house tonight, though. I will, however, be attending my favorite frat, OAD. Those are the initials of my little sister, and thanks to the frat lights in her room, it’s time to party. I didn’t even need to name five brothers to get in!

9:58 p.m.: She kicked me out of her room because I was bothering her — how typical. I didn’t leave before getting some pictures for the gram.

10 p.m.: Well, I have nowhere else to go, so I guess I’ll get ready for bed. I do my basic night routine and head to my room to watch something random on Netflix to wrap up my Thursday night. We really do be living the dream out here.


By attempting to recreate a day in the life of a Penn State student up at State College, I realized there’s truly no comparison to the real thing. The lines in the commons, the long walks to class, and the sweaty and disgusting frats are just too unique to be recreated. While I’m happy to be home safe and healthy with my family, I can’t help but think about how much everyone is missing their real home, Happy Valley, right about now. We’ll all be back soon enough!

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About the Author

Hope Damato

Hope is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism and is one of Onward State's social media editors. She resides in Northern Virginia but likes to tell people she's from D.C. since no ones heard of Manassas. She considers herself a coffee expert, obsessive Eagles fan and likes long walks on the beach. Feel free to follow her on twitter @hopemarinaa to send her funny tweets or email her at [email protected] to yell at her.

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