How to socialize while practicing social distancing

A few weeks of online courses and no campus activities to speak of have brought students social lives to a standstill, but here are some suggestions on how to socialize while still practicing social distancing.

Thankfully, social media and other technologies have made it easier than ever to keep in touch across the country and internationally. Here are some ways to keep in touch with your friends during this difficult time:

Call a friend or family member out of the blue!

Make sure you check time zones first though. Now is an especially good time to check in on your loved ones, and it gives you a chance to hear voices that aren’t just your family or professors.

Pick a book to read with your family or group of friends.

Some of my favorites are Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Becoming by Michelle Obama, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and the Legend series by Marie Lu. You could also reread Harry Potter for the billionth time, because when else are you going to have the time to do that before summer break?

Stream a movie with your friends.

Make a list of movies you’ve always wanted to watch with your friends, send out a Whenisgood or GroupMe poll to set a time, and have fun! If you’re using Netflix, you can sync the movie using the Chrome extension Netflix Party and watch it together without worrying about seeing key moments before your friends.

Try a new New York Times recipe!

You can thank us later after you’ve mastered that recipe that you’ve always wished you had time to make, all while making full use of the RPI New York Times subscription. Recipes that you can try on your own or with your family can be found here and are updated weekly. After quarantine, you can enjoy cooking or baking with your friends and catch up, with a few new recipes under your belt. Who knows, maybe they also tried making the same recipe and they have a fun story to share!

Make a playlist with your friends.

The more the merrier! Besides, you’ll have new songs to jam out to when you’re cooking or some music that’ll remind you to stop scrolling through Instagram and pick up the phone and call a friend!

Video call a group of your friends to catch up on a weekly basis.

Setting up a consistent schedule will give you something to look forward to during the week. You could switch it up and play Animal Crossing together, or meet up virtually to get homework and some studying done - it’s not the Union, but hey, we’re doing the best we can.