Student Voice: How Studying and Socializing with College Friends Virtually Makes Me Feel Sane
There’s no doubt that getting used to life in quarantine isn’t easy, and I’d be lying if I said that I’ve managed to narrow down a day-to-day routine that prevents me from going stir crazy. On top of the boredom, easing back into life at home with parents after living on your own for the past two years makes the independence you had in college feel like a distant dream.
But the hardest part of quarantine is the fact that the faces you once saw everyday–– and at one point could be less than 6 feet away from–– are no longer in the dorm next door or just down the street. College is a place filled with social interaction and constant sources of engagement. I think it’s fair to say that for most college students the abrupt change is both not welcome and not easy to get used to.
Social interactions now have to be on a screen, oftentimes with people three hours ahead of you and thousands of miles away. It's hard to avoid that sad feeling after closing your laptop and realizing your parents are in the room next to you are not in fact at a party. While virtual get-togethers are inherently not the same, making the effort to get together with friends online has been one of the things that keeps me sane during this confusing time.
Getting together with friends on Zoom at least once a week makes life feel a little closer to normal.
I’ll admit that catching up in quarantine isn’t as exciting as it is in normal life (the most exciting thing I did today was find a free version of a movie I have to watch for my French class), but seeing the faces of people that aren’t your immediate family is a nice change. At the beginning of quarantine, I assumed I would be Facetiming my friends everyday but that’s not the case and that’s okay. There are even times when I don’t feel like interacting with other people and that’s okay-- a weird time like this makes any kind of feeling understandable. But logging onto Zoom, Houseparty, or just randomly Facetiming someone to check in can help make quarantine feel not so bad.
Lily Westover is in the Class of 2022 at Georgetown University.