A second lockdown was the last thing any of us wanted. Having said this it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. There are plenty of things we as students can be doing to stay connected and make the most of university even when close contact is restricted.
One of the few good things about 2020 is that we have high quality technology which I would urge you to make the most of. Find below some fun ways to utilise technology and the limited contact we have, to stay connected with others.
Cooking / baking as a group
Starting off with your house/flatmates I would encourage you to make the most out of the situation with the friends around you. A great way to bond is over a shared love of food. If, like in my house, you’re Bake Off fanatics why not set each other challenges and find out who the true Mary Berry is amongst you. Equally, if baking isn’t your thing, cooking a meal together is another great way to socialise.
Running / walking as a bubble
Staying active and getting some fresh air every so often is vital for your wellbeing. Why not set up a time each day when your household is free and go for a run or a walk? Not only will you give your eyes a rest from the constant screens we find ourselves looking at, but you might find new places you never even knew existed.
Catch up with course friends
Not being on campus can make it harder to keep in touch with your course friends. Reach out. Arrange a FaceTime call to catch up and see how they’re doing. It’s important to maintain friendships and you can even set up mini virtual study sessions together. Equally, if you want to exercise with someone outside your household you can. Arrange a socially distanced walk to get a little bit of normality back.
Socialising with people in the societies you’re a part of has become harder although not impossible. Many societies are coming up with great ways to keep socials going virtually. For example Nouse is planning a virtual social on Zoom that replicates the usual social route of going to different bars around York. Break out rooms with fun challenges will simulate the real experience – something I’m really looking forward to! There are also virtual group chat platforms such as Discord which are a great way to bond and play games together. If you haven’t attended a social before now is a great time to start.
Arrange to watch your favourite programme or series in sync with friends:
Teleparty (formally Netflix Party) is a great way to stay connected with friends even when you can’t be in the same room. With the group chat function you can talk about your favourite parts as normal, while watching from anywhere in the world. If your all-time favourite show isn’t on Netflix, there is always the option of FaceTime. It’s not the same as watching together but is certainly a good compromise.
The current situation is far from ideal but it doesn’t mean all things fun have to be put on hold. Make sure to reach out to friends and try to get outside for at least half an hour each day no matter how busy you are. Socialising with friends is still possible and so make the time to connect and enjoy each other’s company.