Getting Involved on Campus During Covid

I am currently a freshman at NC State, and I don’t think I would be the first person to say that it has been tough starting college amid Covid. Out of concern for myself and my family, I have decided to not live on campus this year. However, a part of me has an ounce of regret for making this decision. My decision to not live on campus has required me to give up a lot of benefits which includes making new friends, something I was looking forward to when starting college. Despite this, I have found that extracurricular activities (even if they take place on Zoom) can be really fulfilling, and I want to encourage everybody to increase their campus engagement if they’re feeling a little lonely this year.

The first place I looked to discover clubs and organizations to join during my first year in college is, of course, the Get Involved website of NC State: https://getinvolved.ncsu.edu. This website provides a great outlet when trying to search for clubs to get involved in. While on this site, I made sure to specifically search for organizations I’m interested in. Some of my interests when it comes to clubs include social justice and human rights, and one of the first clubs I decided to be a part of is the Feminist Collective at NCSU. This is an amazing organization that collaborates with other social justice organizations on NC State’s campus while also promoting feminist principles. One of the great events this club hosts includes a book circle which was a huge part of my life last semester. The other members and I read the book Colonize this!, and it was so great hearing other people’s perspectives about the book. The book circle allowed me to meet new people and to feel less lonely in the middle of all this Covid madness. I even ended up joining the leadership team of the Feminist Collective this semester which has definitely gifted me with a new purpose in my life.

Another organization I decided to join during my first year at college was IGNITE at NC State. IGNITE is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to empower womxn in politics, boost civic engagement, fight for political parity, and foster community change through civic engagement resources and access to networks of powerful womxn in politics. I heard about IGNITE through Instagram, and I decided to join the exec board and take the role of the secretary of IGNITE at NC State. This has especially brought fruition to my life because the rights of women is an issue I care deeply about, and I want to carry that interest and passion throughout my life. Not to mention, I have met new people through this organization and have gotten close with the rest of the exec board which again has allowed me to feel less lonely while living at home.

The ability to have the opportunity to contribute to change in my community is something that has given me real motivation during this pandemic. Sometimes I need to have things to do outside of schoolwork or else I will go insane, and I feel like many may feel the same way too. Therefore, if you’re feeling lonely during this hell on earth, I encourage you to do things you’re interested in. It can be really worthwhile, and it can help you meet people who share the same interests as you. I understand that going to club meetings over Zoom can be difficult and sometimes disengaging, but there is no harm in trying. You’ll be surprised by the connections and friendships you can form over Zoom.