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How COVID Stole My Sense of Community at College

As a freshman in college, going out and meeting people is the usual way to make friends, but with COVID-19 this is hardly possible. In New York City, indoor dining was closed until Feb. 12 and it was up in the air of when Locke’s indoor dining would open.

It is human nature to come together for meals and people have been doing it for centuries. Sitting down and eating elbow to elbow bonds people over food and conversation. We, as students, are forbidden to do so with such COVID-19 rules. Once we get the motivation to go to the dining hall, we have to take our food to go and sit in our dorms. This limits who we meet and become friends with and it makes eating feel isolating.

“I’m terrified to do anything,” freshman Kathleen Connelly said. “Not even just getting sick, but also getting contact traced and pulled out of any social activities I have because I have to quarantine. Even in in-person classes, it is nice to have to get up and get dressed and motivated to go somewhere. However, when that is taken away from you because you were with someone who was with someone who tested positive that is scary.” 

Of course, we all miss life before the pandemic, however, college is supposed to be where you meet your new friends and even new significant others. But, without any sort of mixer or gathering that has been extremely difficult to be done safely.

“The Coronavirus makes me scared because I don’t want to put any of my friends at risk,” freshman Josephine Souza said. “But then the downside is I can’t make any more friends because there are no clubs that are very active. I’m sure there are things that are active, but I’m so scared to participate because I don’t want to get sick or get my friends sick.” 

Even as a member of the Manhattan women’s rowing team, I have had trouble with finding time and ways to bond and still be safe. This problem forces me to stay in my dorm and make the decision to not participate in activities that most college kids would because they are putting my team, myself, and the school at risk.

 

Angelica is a freshman at Manhattan College who is studying Communications with a focus in Journalism. She is a lover of poetry and is also on the Rowing team at MC!
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