Pandemic creates challenges to navigating social life

A+group+of+international+students+enjoys+bubble+tea+on+Oct.+19%2C+2019.

Ryan Ash

A group of international students enjoys bubble tea on Oct. 19, 2019.

By Jared Ebanks, Assistant Features Editor

Home to a vibrant and social campus environment, the University offers numerous opportunities for students to immerse themselves in a true social college experience. While students are attracted to the number of bars and off-campus Greek life parties, this coming fall semester poses a number of challenges in the way of enjoying such an atmosphere.

Given the measures the University has implemented to keep us all safe this semester, the number of nights spent drinking at Lion with your friends will most certainly decrease. In addition to new and varying capacity limits within housing and businesses, some of us may be waiting in line half or most of the night just to get in. 

A lot of the times when we envision our own true college experience, it can be filled with the misleading thematic tones of modern TV and film. While the choice to go out and party each night is entirely your own, the limitations set upon us this semester may sway you to delve into the many other facets of campus. 

One of the very first social events officially put on by the University is Quad Day; however, due to COVID-19, Quad Day will be held virtually this year. This is where you get your first real taste of what the atmosphere on campus feels like; bodies quickly hustling past each other on the quad. While the spirit of social interaction will be mixed this year, new groups will be created and shared with those open to them. 

A way to break down the awkward wall between you and your new roommate could be to search online for Registered Student Organizations that meet both of your interests. Most meetings will be held virtually, giving you the opportunity to pick from a wider variety of options. Many of these student groups will have their organization’s page on social media with up-to-date information on meeting times.

There are a number of RSOs on campus, ranging from simple hobbies to gaining real-world experience within your major. Tailoring your RSO interests around the improvement of knowledge toward your specialization could do wonders in the long run. Many of these RSOs work with organizations within the University to provide rigorous yet fun work that builds upon what’s being taught in the online classroom. 

All of us are going to be spending a lot of time indoors this semester. There will most likely be strict guidelines on who can come into your housing unit as well, so how will you make the most out of the semester?

Go to your first floor meeting. They may seem unimportant and optional, however, they provide you with the opportunity to see firsthand who lives on your floor. Push yourself to go talk to some of your floormates. You’re bound to spend a lot of time in the dorms and making close friends with your neighbors will allow you all to dictate how social you are this year. 

The RAs on your floor will also do their due diligence to curb your boredom with most likely virtual dorm events. The dorms are only space; get creative, and rotate nightly activities from video game tournaments to cards. Some of your favorite memories maybe within your dorm room surrounded by laughs and friends.

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