Keene State is wrapping up its first semester after successfully making it through an unprecedented pandemic, however, students may be wondering what they should do with their time over break.

 Especially with the increased usage in technology over the past few months, some college students might want to take a break from all the technology while still taking the necessary precautionary measures against COVID-19. Students and The Wellness Center talk about how to use COVID time over the next few months. Assistant Director of Emotional Health Programming & Outreach Forest Seymour first wants everyone to take a deep breath and acknowledge we just made it through the semester 

“Pat yourselves on the back,” said Seymour. “As a community, we all prioritized our health, wore masks, kept distance and made it through a challenging semester. It has been hard and sometimes lonely. I hope everyone can find ways to connect safety with family and friends over the break.”

Seymour also noted that while students may have had a difficult time in Zoom classes, it was the best option we had. He said, “While this can be stressful, if the alternative is to not have classes at all, that could be even more stressful. The key is to take care of our souls and our bodies, stay connected to others, eat and drink healthily, get good exercise and sleep. And remember, this will pass.”

Seymour also said we might want to dial back our technology usage as it was an integral part of the semester. He said, “One good idea is to do a partial media-fast. While it may not be realistic to avoid all media, choosing one or two platforms to take a break from can be freeing, maybe for a weekend or a week or a month. Remember what it is like to do things without screens or earbuds.”

Seymour said that getting outside would be our best option, even as we are going into winter. He said, “As long as it is allowed by state rules, it is great to get outside. Bundle-up warm, wear a good hat, wear your mask. Maybe explore walks you don’t usually do, you might find surprising things just around the corner. If you have to stay inside, figure out how to get exercise; workout enough every day to break a little sweat.”

Keene State College sophomore Ben Turk plans to take advantage of his home during the break. He said, “I live in Rye, New York, so I’m definitely going to be extra cautious. While I will obviously go outside for necessities, I plan on playing it safe.”

The semester definitely impacted Turk, but that was to be expected. He said, “I knew it was going to be stressful so I sort of allowed myself to accept that at first and it ended up helping me out in the long run.”

Turk also notes that everyone must be vigilant over winter break. “Just because we made it through the semester doesn’t mean we are guaranteed to come back the next; play it safe people.”

Keene State junior Sammy Hales pretty much had a similar the same experience as Turk. He said, “This semester was definitely a tough one, to be at college for two years and having everything be the same, and then having this massive change definitely threw me for a loop.”

Hales also talked about how he is going to spend most of his time up in Keene. He said, “I usually live in Connecticut, however, I have a lease here in Keene. With everything going on I just feel like New Hampshire is the safest place for me right now.”

Hales recommended going outside if you are able to. He said, “Being up in New Hampshire, I’m definitely going to be doing a lot of hiking, and if you’re in an area you can, you should do the same. It’s a safe way to get out of the house.”


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