CU offers ways to kill time in midst of pandemic


The Daily Illini File Photo

The sun sets at Crystal Lake Park on Nov. 16, 2019.

By Salem Isaf, Interim Editor in Chief

All college students must learn to deal with the unprecedented amount of free time they find themselves with once they move onto campus. Without family, friends and all the other distractions of everyday life at home, you’ll wonder how in the world you’re supposed to fill up your days aside from classes, homework and scrolling through your phone. 

Usually there are a plethora of clubs, activities, meeting places and events that would give new students a chance to meet new people and explore engaging new hobbies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic will get in the way of a lot of the normal avenues students take to kill time. While many clubs will adapt and attempt to function online, much of the social scene will be affected. Even meetings, which are generally a nice way to meet your peers and socialize with your team, will largely move online, be cut short and be made excessively awkward.

In order to combat these restrictions and find ways to live your life outside of classroom activity, you’ll have to get creative. Luckily, there’s plenty of ways to kill time around Champaign-Urbana.

The first recommendation I have for you is still to seek out the clubs and extracurriculars on campus that will continue to operate in some capacity this semester. Even if it is completely online, you shouldn’t let that discourage you from learning and experiencing as much as you can here, especially if the organizations are related to your professional aspirations or interests. You have to try and make these worth it. 

Another way to kill time in C-U is to explore the parks that both towns have to offer. The majority of these are extremely well-maintained and can offer different kinds of experiences. Many of the Champaign parks are the typical grass fields with trees to look at and places to sit down and relax. These are perfect for picnics.

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Some of the parks in Urbana, however, specifically Crystal Lake Park, are more about incorporating and preserving habitats native to the Illinois landscape, with wooded areas and a lake to swim in. None of this is to discount the multiple quads and landscapes that the University itself has to offer, which are equally worth your time. Exploring the outdoor areas around C-U is a great way to get acclimated to the central Illinois climate you now find yourself in!

Another fun way to kill time, assuming we aren’t moved back into a full quarantine soon, is to earn your Illinois Drivers’ Licence! It is important to know that Illinois does not recognize the international drivers’ licence, and a licence from another country is only valid for up to 90 days before drivers must acquire an Illinois licence. If you plan on doing any driving within your tenure here at the University, then these slow first couple months of school might be the perfect time to complete this requirement.

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