My first semester of my first year of college did not exactly start off how I had dreamed it would. In all of those long nights of pushing through the challenging season of college applications, I never dreamed of what is now my reality.
If someone told me a year ago that I’d be wearing a mask for approximately 12 hours straight every single day, I’m pretty sure I would have laughed in their face. NO ONE prepared me for the big, frightening task of trying to connect with people while only being able to see their eyes and eyebrows…
Luckily, the freshman class got creative over quarantine and created a class page, where we could send a picture and small description of ourselves- almost like a dating profile. From there, people comment, add you on social media, and hopefully begin forming bonds. However, as one of the few people who did not submit a profile, the social ease I once had was turned COMPLETELY upside down.
Once I had arrived on campus, I realized how much everyone talked online over quarantine and such a wave of FOMO (fear of missing out) came over me. So, in order to catch up with everyone, I set a goal for myself. I would talk to at least three new people each day.
And slowly but surely, my plan worked!
The cool thing that I have noticed about the social scene of Furman is that the campus is set up to practically force you to connect with your community…quite literally. My friend Deanna is a prime example of this exact thing!
Deanna and I have the same Political Science course, the same Pathways class, and, oh yeah…she lives about 6 doors down from me on our hall! Our friendship was literally written in the stars!
Clubs and extracurriculars have also been life savers when it comes to finding people who are like-minded and have the same enthusiasm as you do about things you’re interested in.
Although the virtual club fair presented a lot of hit or miss situations, it ultimately helped me find my spot in so many different groups of people.
Another way that I branched out socially was going on “lunch dates”. Because everyone has mostly met on social media, there’s little opportunity to actually connect and vibe with people in person. So, I texted people that I seemed to have things in common with on social media, and invited them out to lunch so that we could get to know each other! As awkward as it might seem, I actually think that this has proved to be the easiest, quickest way to get connected with people with little pressure.
It is a bit of an understatement to say that I am attending one of the best colleges, especially in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.
I feel so lucky to be able to attend such a warm and welcoming school, and to be a part of such a warm and social class that has gone out of the way to make these awkward circumstances more bearable. Being able to have these experiences makes it totally worth it…even if it means talking to your friends six feet apart!