Making New Friends, Seeing Old Ones During Covid-19
As we cross the midpoint of the semester, people across campus are looking for ways to stay connected and socialize safely. Whether you want to take advantage of increasingly warm weather or are simply trying to make new friends, opportunities abound.
Getting Started Socializing
It can already be difficult to make friends in college, and that can be worsened by students feeling isolated during the pandemic.
“Feeling shy or experiencing some level of social awkwardness is nothing to feel ashamed about, and for many students, the pandemic has amplified those feelings,” said Tiffiny Hughes-Troutman, director of the Center for Assessment, Referral, and Education (CARE). “Start by seeking out environments that suit you.”
Some suggestions for how to do this include attending residence hall events for students who live on campus, as well as developing social media networks. Volunteering can also help students make friends while giving back to their local communities, and pen pal networks are regaining popularity in light of the pandemic.
If you know someone is new to campus, or could use a connection, ask them to join you to do something outdoors. This, too, can be uncomfortable — but everyone needs a friend, especially these days.
You can also find student organizations across a wide variety of topics on Engage. Many organizations are operating fully online, while others have occasional in-person events as well. View a list of upcoming events from student organizations here. Once you’ve found someone to hang out with, whether they’re a new friend or an old one, there are plenty of ways to have socially distanced “friend dates.”
Several Georgia Tech sports are in the middle of their spring seasons, and many of them are competing outdoors. Students can attend baseball, softball, track and field, and tennis events for free. The 8-3 baseball team is currently climbing after taking down the ACC’s top-seeded Louisville; their next home series runs March 12 – 14 against Pittsburgh.
Volleyball also just started its 10-match spring season. The Yellow Jackets finished the fall semester ranked 17th in the country and look to continue their streak and lock in their first NCAA tournament berth since 2009. Both men’s and women’s basketball are also looking to continue their postseason runs, with the men playing in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday. View the full schedule of sports at ramblinwreck.com.
Atlanta’s Outdoor Spaces
Atlanta also boasts several outdoor areas for people to enjoy the weather away from others. On campus, Tech Green, Burger Bowl Field, and the new EcoCommons are some of the many places to hang out. Off campus, places such as the BeltLine and Piedmont Park are easily within driving or biking distance. If you’re looking for a little more adventure, visit one of the Atlanta area’s many hiking trails.
Georgia Tech Arts Skyline Series
For those missing live performances, Georgia Tech Arts is here to help. From March 26 to May 18, there are 25 performances scheduled for the outdoor stage being built on the W21 parking lot at the intersection of Ferst Drive and State Street, ranging from the Atlanta Ballet to student musicians. Tickets are on sale now; click here to learn more and view the full event schedule.
“There are so many ways to socialize safely. Strong social connections and friendships support mental well-being, improve sleep, and strengthen our immune systems,” Hughes-Troutman said. Learn more about how to stay safe while socializing here.