1. Listen to music
Take your headphones with you to the testing sites so you can spend 10-20 minutes listening to a new playlist, your favorite songs or a podcast. This will stop you from having to drool in silence and save you from boredom. You also might finish the test faster if you’re enjoying what you’re listening to — I think that’s how it works when I go for a run.
2. Walk a different way
Unless you’re lucky and you live on Grounds, the testing site you go to is probably farther away. To switch it up each week, you can try out various paths to your designated location. This is a good way to stretch your legs and see different places around Grounds. The weather is starting to get a bit warmer, and after you are done with testing you could go visit the Lawn, the Rotunda or any of the buildings your online classes would usually be in.
3. Go with someone you know
Chances are you know someone who has the same time and location for testing as you. If you maintain social distancing and walk outside, you could go to the testing site together. It makes the experience less awkward if you can laugh about the fact that you’re spitting into a tube with someone you know.
4. Make an excuse to get food after
Choose the day that you have to get tested to treat yourself. Grab lunch from the food trucks or the Corner if it’s near your testing site. Getting out of your room is difficult this semester, and leaving to get tested is a good excuse to get something special to eat.
5. Get ready as if you’re going somewhere nice
Staying inside and focusing on online school permits a wardrobe of sweatpants and sweatshirts. The day you get tested you can dress up a little to add a little bit of spice to your week. The testing site isn’t the most glamorous destination, but at least it’s not the desk in your room.
6. Memorize the NATO phonetic alphabet
In order for the person to check you in at the testing site, they must type in your computing ID. I don’t know about you, but the notes application in my phone has my ID spelled out a little bit too small. Speaking aloud the NATO alphabet posted on the plexiglass screens might make the process run a little more smoothly for everyone. Plus, memorizing the NATO alphabet — Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc. — will be both a weird flex and something to make your time at the site feel shorter.
7. Use it as a break from classes
Take advantage of the time away from your screens to enjoy being outside. During your appointment time, you won’t have Zoom classes for at least an hour, so take your time while being away from your room.
8. Document it
Make a Snapchat or Instagram diary of all your visits to prevalence testing. Each week could be an opportunity to laugh online about how goofy drooling into a tube in front of your peers can feel. The testing is extremely important, and documenting it can make it a little bit more enjoyable.
9. Time it
This can become a competition. With yourself or with friends, time how fast you can fill the tube and compare to find who can fill it the fastest — while still adhering to the University’s guidelines, of course. You might be surprised to see if your times improve each week.
10. Change up your location
Testing sites are all over Grounds. Each weekday there are openings at different locations. You can change your appointment to another location on Grounds as long as you cancel your other appointment at Time2Test. A new location can be just enough to make testing exciting.