As the school year wraps up, it’s almost time to say goodbye to friends. Whether this is just for the summer or for a much longer amount of time post–graduation, the desire to see our friends in person is greater than ever. We all want to have a proper goodbye and a chance at making one more memory, but it’s important to continue to follow COVID safety guidelines until the CDC changes them. Here are some ways to continue to be COVID conscious while spreading the love.
- Go On a Walk
As a senior graduating into so much uncertainty, I’ve been wanting to hold on to whatever pieces of my time at Penn I can. This includes memories outside of my friends, but you can make them all the more special by inviting them along, too. Lately, I’ve been going on long walks around campus, being sure to really look at all the beautiful buildings. It’s a simple activity, but while taking in every inch of campus, you can share memories with your friends. Remember trying to walk all the way from DRL to Williams to get to writing sem? Relive your old memories one last time—you can even imagine that this is the procession down Locust for graduation.
- Plan a Picnic
As the weather gets warmer, plan a socially distanced picnic. Bring lots of cozy blankets to lay on the grass and set up in a beautiful spot outdoors. Think beyond campus, too. Walk to Clark Park, the banks of the Schuylkill, or Independence Lawn. Saying goodbye to Philly is just as important as the final glimpses of campus as a student. If you want to make your picnic extra special, order a variety of food through a delivery service from your favorite local restaurants.
- Check Out the Farmers’ Market
A lot of students forget to look beyond Penn sometimes. On Saturdays, you can enjoy local produce and goods at Clark Park or Rittenhouse Square. Grab your friends and browse what Philly vendors have to offer; you can even stop for coffee or pastries on the way. If you go to Rittenhouse, I recommend getting coffee to go from Shakespeare and Co, which has a printing press and shelves of books inside.
- Plan a Museum Trip
Philadelphia is full of amazing museums that even offer discounts for students. Invite a friend or two to browse the impressionists at the PMA or wander through the free gardens at the Rodin Museum, which reopens May 7th. These are some of the best museums in the U.S, so be sure to check them out. Just be sure to keep your groups small, distance, and always wear a mask.
- Watch the Sunset on the ACME Roof
This one may sound a little odd, but if you go to the top of Acme, there is an open roof where you can see the skyline. Grab some snacks, a speaker, and sit on the roof while watching the sunset. It’s a quirky evening that you won’t forget. You could even buy some cheap watercolors and paint the sunset; just be careful that there aren’t any cars trying to park in your lookout spot.
Saying goodbye, no matter for how long, can be hard—but it can seem even harder when you’ve been separated from friends for so long. As my time at Penn comes to a close, I’m going to remember to take advantage of every minute of it.
Hanging out with friends or telling them goodbye doesn’t need to be some grand affair. If they’re really your friends, it’ll be worth it to just sit outside and listen to music while writing an essay or browsing the independent bookstores around campus. The right people can make any activity special, and as a senior, the things I miss most will be what I did everyday: going to Fisher–Bennett, tripping on the wobbly bricks of Locust, or grabbing donuts from Federal Donuts.