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How to Look and Act Like Your Coolest Self this Fall

It is worth noting that most of the tips and tricks of this post centre around what not to do. I have taken an inferential method of social research in this respect (if that’s what it’s even called). A lot of these recommendations also pertain primarily to the social, and what you can do outside of literal campus (as it’s obvious we are not doing in-person learning activities on campus right now) – what you can do to look cool when you’re walking around in your neighbourhood, trying to be social, etc. etc.

Wear a mask!

Let’s be honest, this one is pretty self-explanatory and has been said by many a health-official much more qualified than me. But it bears repeating due to the sheer number of people who choose to walk directly beside me without a mask: please wear a mask. The only people you hurt by wearing a mask is… a grand total of nobody! You just look like a cool and socially responsible young adult ready to make waves with their care and consideration of others.

Don't take up the entire sidewalk!

Picture this: you’re in a group of people who are (hopefully) all in your ‘bubble’. You’re moving from point A to point B, and decide to use the glorious public infrastructure of sidewalks to get there. You and your friends look great, you’re laughing, joking, having such a great time with your walk that you forget about the harsh reality of the world! But wait… you’ve forgotten too much… you even forget that your group could be spreading a harmful virus by literally taking up the whole sidewalk and forcing passerby’s to come within a cool 2 inches of you all! You know what’s not cool on a regular day? Taking up the entire sidewalk. You know what’s even less cool in a pandemic? Taking up the entire sidewalk.  

Choose small, intimate gatherings over the cesspool of whatever bar/patio is the it-spot of the week.

This tip is kinda crazy, I know. But if you’re considering going to the ‘it’ bar/patio of the week, chances are others are thinking of doing the same thing! And you know what gets hard when you’ve downed your fifth drink and are feel oh-so-social? Properly distancing. Seriously, being hungover is a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about that headache meaning you’re now at the centre of an outbreak.

Stop thinking low case numbers means life is going back to ‘normal’.

Does anyone know that fun little tik tok song that goes “the pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it”? Well… yeah. Case numbers have been on a consistent rise since the reopening of schools. If you think it’s over – I don’t know, follow an informative twitter thread or something? Check the news? I’m not the person to give you 20 sources about how cases are on the rise in 18-30 year olds. We can all use google. Maybe try googling “outbreak at Western University” and draw parallels to your own experience in Montreal, and, I don’t know, consider your actions and their potential consequences?

Really, really get to know people before beginning a ~relationship~!

This year is obviously a little different in terms of hookup culture. So now is an excellent time to show both your communication and critical thinking skills! If you’re considering entering the dating game, take time to really get to know your prospective love interests – it’ll save you time in the long run (no figuring out a month into the relationship that someone has a foot fetish that you simply can’t do) and protect you and your friends in the short run (no swapping potentially viral saliva). Being alone is hard, so it’s understandable if you want to find someone to get it with – just do it responsibly and as carefully as possible!

I know that this list is probably repetetive of many others, but sometimes the population could use a little rinse and repeat reminder (ha... get it? like washing your hands... cause its all about COVID... yeah nice).

Emma Hebert is a third year sociology, cultural studies, and history student at McGill University. She mainly enjoys writing about her personal experiences, pop culture, and the social construction of identity.
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