COVID-19 forced the digitalisation of teaching and learning in a response often described as emergency remote teaching (ERT). This rapid response changed the social, spatial, and temporal arrangements of higher education and required important adaptations from educators and students alike. However, while the literature has examined the constraints students faced (e.g. availability of the internet) and the consequences of the pandemic (e.g. student mental health), students’ active management of these constraints for learning remains underexplored. This paper aims to “think with” COVID-19 to explore student agency in home learning under constrained circumstances. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to understand the day-to-day actions of nineteen undergraduate students managing their learning during the COVID-19 lockdowns in Victoria, Australia. Emirbayer and Mische’s multiple dimensions of agency — iterative, projective, and practical-evaluative — are used to explore student experience. The findings illustrate students’ adaptability and agency in navigating life-integrated learning, with most of their actions oriented to their present circumstances. This practical evaluative form of agency was expressed through (1) organising self, space, time, and relationships; (2) self-care; and (3) seeking help. Although this study took place in the context of ERT, it has implications beyond the pandemic because higher education always operates under constraints, and in other circumstances, many students still experience emotionally and materially difficult times.