THE LO-DOWN: How to keep your life fun and exciting in the midst of a pandemic


Makenna Roy

Graphic by Makenna Roy. Illustration by Tara Gnewikow.

Lauren Vannucci

As the cold months approach us and a second wave of COVID-19 is predicted to come in California, in true 2020 fashion we are projected to have another lockdown

I know it sounds horrible. Like, I hate that I’m spending the peak of my “hot” years of my early 20s in mismatched socks and sweatpants from middle school rather than dancing on top of a table in a private booth at a nightclub in Vegas. 

But unpopular opinion… being in quarantine isn’t all that bad. 

One of my biggest takeaways from this pandemic is to learn how to be OK with being by myself! I have made the most out of this year and made more strides in my personal development than ever before.

Over the past few months I have taken the time to focus on bettering my health, give myself the ULTIMATE glow-up and plan out my future. I turned my wishes and wants into a reality. Because what am I waiting for? 

Even though I spend pretty much every day in my room, I am busier than ever before. I want to share some new and improved ideas on how to SPICE up your quarantine life so none of us have to go back to making whipped coffee or watching “Tiger King” again, LOL. 

Give yourself a quarantine glow-up! 

We’re staying inside to protect the health of others, so why don’t we try to protect our own health as well?

I like to think I had my own little quarantine glow-up this year. I really wanted to focus on my overall health and well-being. I FINALLY cleared up my acne after years, lost a few pounds by eating nutrient-dense foods and got an awesome haircut. Despite the shitiness of this year, I can say I am overall very happy! 

Taking time to focus on yourself is so much fun! 

Get up and get moving! 

I really took walking around campus for granted because I used to average walking around four to five miles a day to get to my classes, to now just sitting in my house for the majority of the day. For someone as active as me, I’m sure as hell lazy. I was THAT girl who would take the elevator from the ground to the second floor and I hate myself for that LOL.

I felt so cooped up and antsy from not moving as much and I needed to start moving my body in different ways. I have started walking to Starbucks in the mornings and try to get outside and go for a run a few times a week. If you’re not able to run in your area, have no fear. Investing in a hoola hoop was one of the best quarantine purchases I made. Also jump roping is great and doesn’t require you to use up a bunch of space. 

YouTube has the BEST fitness videos. 

Sydney Cummings offers free at-home workouts and drops a new video every day. My sister and I completed her summer challenge that was 120 days and my life has been forever changed! They’re so much fun and extremely challenging, but I actually look forward to working out with her everyday. 

Become the next Gordon Ramsey

At the start of quarantine my mom didn’t let us eat any outside food… literally no Chick-fil-A or In-N-Out. I couldn’t have anything. Like I’m talking about setting our groceries out for days at a time and fully sanitizing them before we were allowed to eat anything. 

So… quarantine really made me rethink food and how I consume it. I turned to making tasty food and recipes that matched what I would normally order from DoorDash.  

I have a newfound love for cooking! And ever since, I have saved so much money by not eating out as much because I actually enjoy a home-cooked meal over getting a crusty six piece nugget meal from McDonald’s. 

Upgrade your space! 

Now that I work from home and am attending Zoom university, I really have no business leaving my house other than running to the grocery store or Target. I figured that I should get it together and create a space where I could work and feel inspired.

I completely redid my room and gave it the ultimate makeover by creating a space where I enjoy working!

You can revamp items in your house or redo your room really inexpensively. Repaint your dresser or nightstand! Paint a canvas you want hung up in your room. 

I printed out over 100 prints from CVS and spent under $20 for all of them. One of my walls in my room is covered in pictures of my wanted aesthetic and looks dope!

Story continues below photo. 

Lauren’s room is styled to mimic her everyday aesthetic.

I have also been going to the thrift store to find really cool items to decorate my room. Most of my decor and knick knacks are from Goodwill. One of my prized possessions is my Yogi Bear figurine I found a few months ago that I purchased for a dollar. 

Update your profiles! 

Go ahead and revise your resume and update your LinkedIn profile.

Write a kick-ass cover letter! I know it feels like college is never ending and getting your degree seems far away, but it’s super useful to always have an updated resume and cover letter on hand just in case an opportunity falls into your hands. 

Make snail mail cool again

Yes, Zoom dates are fine, but why don’t we take it back to the old days and bring back pen pals?

I have been wanting to start a sticker club and write letters like I used to do in elementary school with my friends! I had the coolest stickers from my sticker club. I think my sparkly Lisa Frank stickers are still up on the wall inside my closet at my parents’ house. 

Do I dare bring back my Lilly Pulitzer stationery? Eh, but if anyone wants to be pen pals hit me up!

Don’t wait until tomorrow

The future is so unknown, and I think 2020 has been a great reminder of that. 

If you have always wanted to do something or dream of one day doing something, what is stopping you from starting that right now?

And when you’re spending time at home without much to do, screen time can be so tempting. Social media is fun, don’t get me wrong! I spend like five hours on TikTok everyday, but it’s so draining. Take it from me, the social media queen! I promise you’ll be so much more productive by limiting your time watching TV or being on your phone. 

Stay safe and try to make the most out of every day!

Be kind! And be awesome! You’re all hot, ily <3