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5 Ways to Stay Connected During University Quarantine

This semester poses new challenges in so many ways. We are so privileged to be on campus right now but we are undeniably facing a huge change to our social life. While we miss hanging out with our friends in person all the time, the most important thing for us to do right now is keep our number of cases down. So how do you balance wanting to connect with friends and needing to keep everyone safe? Look no further; here are 5 ways to stay connected with friends during quarantine.

1.     Schedule a regular time to call

Even when you miss your friends, remembering to call them can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of class, work, and free time, especially at the beginning of the semester. If you notice this happening to you, suggest scheduling a time for you to call every week. That way you can move other obligations around that time and allow this call to still be a priority.

2.     Make it an event

If a regular call is too much to commit to, just try scheduling one with a theme. Maybe you’ll get on Zoom and have a craft night, or maybe you’ll agree to eat dinner on a call together. Adding a plan can make the call feel a little more special and break the monotony of feeling like you’re in another Zoom meeting. And if you have friends who can never seem to commit to just a chatty call, a planned theme might be a bit more of an incentive to join.

Here are a couple more ideas:

-Give a room tour of where you’re quarantining

-Draw or paint something together and then compare your finished products

-Have a virtual coffee date in the morning

-Collect a couple of your favorite poems (by yourself or other authors!) and read them to each other

-Do a fitness program together (Chloe Ting challenge anyone?)

-Put together a funny Kahoot or play a round of Quiplash on Jackbox

3.     Take advantage of outside time

If you’re lucky enough to have the same designated outdoor spaces as your friends, (first of all, I’m jealous!) it’s a great way to spend time together. Not only do you get to catch up in person, you have the added bonus of upping your vitamin-D intake which can be tricky to do in Hamilton! Invite your friends to go for a walk or sit out in the sun. Just remember to wear your masks and stay 6 feet apart!

4.     Pop onto their radar

Maybe you’re both just too busy to call. We’ve all been there. Or maybe your outside locations don’t match up. Doing something simple like sending a meme on Instagram or just texting a quick “hello” is an easy way to show them that they’re on your mind. Sometimes taking the first step to open that line of communication is the hardest part but little gestures like this go a lot further than you might think.

5.     Make plans for Gate 1

Everything seems to be trending in the right direction for us to move to Gate 1 on Tuesday. And while Gate 1 is definitely not a free-for-all, it’s going to feel so great to put an end to quarantine. If you and your friends haven’t been able to connect much so far, try looking towards the future! Reach out and suggest plans for your first in-person meet up. Personally, I’m looking forward to a distanced picnic dinner or two. Whatever you end up deciding on, be sure to double check the regulations for Gate 1.

Whether you use some of these tips for connecting with friends or not, I hope you all stay safe and enjoy each other’s company!

Anthropology and French double major From Oakton, VA
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