25 Sep Connecting During COVID – Four Non-Zoom Ways College Students Can Stay Social This Semester
Let’s be real: 2020 has been a challenge for everyone in every respect. Schools and universities certainly have not been spared from the uncertainty of COVID-19. Many schools across the nation have gone completely remote, leaving several campuses eerily vacant. And while some schools may be conducting in-person learning again, COVID-19 has presented a new challenge for students as they try to socialize with their friends.
However, just because everyone is “social distancing,” that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of opportunities to socialize. Many colleges are still allowing some events, provided they meet CDC guidelines. And when small, facilitated gatherings won’t do, students can always have virtual hangouts!
Yes, virtual hangouts can get somewhat monotonous and impersonal, especially for college students who are used to being with their friends in-person 24/7. That’s why we’re offering some creative suggestions on new and safe ways to hang out that you can pass on to your student!
Four “Socially Distant” Ways Students Can Reconnect with Friends
1. Forget Netflix – Go To A Drive-In Movie Theater
Sure, students love to binge watch Netflix on their laptops, but nothing compares to the thrill of the Big Screen. Although many regular movie theaters are still off-limits, that doesn’t mean students can’t park their cars in a retro drive-in theater.
Just when people thought that drive-ins were going extinct, COVID-19 happened. It’s almost as if drive-ins were designed to be pandemic-proof! At a drive-in theater, it’s easy for students to safely distance themselves and wear comfy clothes while enjoying a fantastic flick.
Be sure to look up drive-in theaters in your area and encourage your college student to organize a “50’s style” night out with their friends.
2. Schedule A Parking Lot Get-Together
Another way students are connecting nowadays is via “parking lot get-togethers” — think football tailgates, COVID-style. As the name suggests, these meetups involve friends hanging out from their cars at empty parking lots.
Like going to drive-in theaters, cars act as a physical barrier so students can feel more at ease hanging with their friends. Many students who schedule these parking lot meetings bring meals with them as they catch up. These car sessions are also ideal for friends to help cram for an upcoming exam!
We know this probably sounds weird, but this is a creative way for your child to feel closer to their classmates while safely practicing social distancing.
3. Find A Way Out Of An E-Escape Room
Escape rooms have become the go-to team building activity in recent years. For those who don’t already know, these themed rooms are full of clues that a group has to figure out within a set timeframe.
While most escape rooms have closed during the pandemic, students can now find plenty of “remote” escape rooms that offer all the fun of a traditional escape room without putting themselves in harm’s way.
Browse and suggest different virtual escape rooms for your child and encourage them to find a game that works for their group of friends.
4. Reconnect With Mother Nature
Why not ditch screens and cars all together and get outdoors! Since so many outdoor activities are “naturally” distant, there has never been a better time to reconnect with the great outdoors.
From hiking and biking to jogging and kayaking, there are plenty of activities students can do to safely explore the outdoors with their pals. You can also check if your child’s college hosts any CDC-approved nature activities while they’re on campus.
For Extra Safety This School Year, Download The Umergency App Today!
No matter how your child chooses to socialize with their friends, please ensure they are doing so with safety in mind. Although the masks and six-foot markers can be annoying in the moment, ultimately they’re here to protect us.
In addition to following CDC guidelines, one easy way students can protect themselves wherever they are is to download the Umergency app. Now available on Google Play and the App Store, Umergency is the all-in-one emergency, health, and safety app designed for today’s students. Learn more about how Umergency can protect your family by following this link.