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Growing closer: Students share how adjusting to living back home has been

April 13, 2020
<p>An MSU student begins the process of leaving campus after MSU halted in-person classes due to the coronavirus March 11, 2020.</p>

An MSU student begins the process of leaving campus after MSU halted in-person classes due to the coronavirus March 11, 2020.

Photo by Jack Falinski | The State News

On March 11, many Michigan State students packed up their belongings and headed home. Whether that was Metro Detroit or Maryland, more than four weeks later, they're beginning to adjust to living with their families again.

Kinesiology freshman Jason Choi moved back home to live with his parents and younger sister. He said his family has been trying new at-home activities ever since the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order left them staying inside together.

“We were always close, ... but this quarantine has definitely brought us together because of the various activities that we could have never done on a regular, busy schedule was now doable," Choi said via email.

Mechanical engineering freshman Lucy Kiloustian also moved back home to live with her parents. However, her mother is a healthcare worker, which adds another element to the adjustment.

“It has been enjoyable seeing them so much because I am very close with my parents. Although, my mother is an (intensive care unit) nurse so she has been working directly with COVID patients and longer hours which is difficult for our family," Kiloustian said via email. "She tries to stay as protected as she can at work so that she doesn't get me or my father sick yet, she still fears for our health."

She said spending time with her family has been nice, but can be a little much at times.

“This period of time has definitely made me closer with my parents," Kiloustian said. "We try and make the best of our quarantine by playing bored games together, going outside for walks and binge watching shows. Its honestly been a great bonding experience although I think its safe to say we still go a little stir crazy with each other once and a while.” 

Social work freshman Lauren Fadanelli has returned home from college along with her brothers, and she said it's been a little chaotic.

“It's nice to see them and my dogs, but it's overall a little crazy here," Fadanelli said via email. "My oldest brother moved back home from Connecticut, and my other brother has been coming back from his apartment in Lansing.”

Fadanelli said she's embraced being able to spend her free time watching movies and taking walks with her family, however her classes are still keeping her busy.

"Due to my classes and studying, there hasn't been a lot of time for me to get a lot of quality time (with family) besides at night," she said. "It feels about the same when I was at school. Just because I'm home, doesn't mean the schoolwork is over."

Although he's out of the dorms, computer science freshman Clarence Nanamori hasn’t been staying with his immediate family. In order to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his sister are living with cousins. 

“I'm currently living with my cousins, as my parents are health workers and self isolated themselves fairly soon after I returned home," he said via email. "It's a little unfortunate that it turned out like that, but I don't have any problems with my cousins and sister here. I am also still in the same city I normally live in so I'm not taking it too hard.”

When it comes to adjusting to a new living situation, whether that means going back to an old one or making extra adjustments if a family member is in the healthcare field, many students said they're growing closer to their families.

“I'd say I have gotten closer with my sister because we actually see each other now, and I have had some decent talks with my aunt," Nanamori said. "I do FaceTime my parents fairly frequently so I think yes, I have gotten closer with my immediate family at least."

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