How to meet people on campus during Covid

I would love to hear suggestions from any current college students, college reps or those with other ideas about how kids can meet others right now.

Go outdoors? Sit under a tree with a blanket and your mask and greet people as they walk by? See if a conversation happens? After initial quarantine, I don’t know of any colleges that forbid outdoor, socially-distanced, masked conversation. It would be a start. Joining an outdoors/hiking club would also be a safe option. Maybe take up singles tennis or frisbee golf?

Some colleges have set up large outdoor tents for socially distanced activities like crafting.

Join a club, particularly one that is meeting in person. My D’s club sport is open to everyone and loves new students, especially freshman who may stay on the team all 4 years. They are still training this semester with adjustments (socially distanced and no contact and all trainings outdoors). Also, the outdoor club at her school is hopping even more than usual right now.

Another suggestion is reddit. My D’s school’s reddit is a good way to meet up with people with similar interests. Just make a post and see what happens. Want someone to play tennis with? Run? Works every time.

Thanks folks. Any others?

D’s clubs are meetings, some over zoom, some outdoors. I’d encourage anyone on a college campus to go to the call outs for meetings they are interested in, go to the free movie nights, ice cream socials, and anything the dorm is organizing. Don’t be afraid to go alone!

My son says everyone is playing games outside. He brought Spike Ball and met a bunch of kids that way. Lots of kids brought that and other outdoor games. My D (junior now) advised my son to put his Insta and Snapchat info on his door. Then you get into group chats and become aware of what everyone is doing.

D’s school is under a quarantine order until Tuesday so they are allowed outside twice a day with pretty severe social distancing restrictions. She has done a pretty good job meeting all of the kids on her floor. They also have a pretty robust calendar of events and while it is all done on zoom right now, she has a group from a few clubs she is interested in joining. She says the biggest help has been all of the groups on Snapchat. There is one for her orientation group, her freshman seminar class, the floor of her dorm, as well as a few special interest ones that started during the initial ED acceptances pertaining to different kinds of music or other similar interests. Even though it is her first year and they have very little face to face interaction, she has found a few different groups with kids she is looking forward to meeting in person when they are able to do so.

Don’t get me wrong. It has still been tough. She calls me every day and feels lonely at times, mostly because she isn’t a partier and her roommate is and they have absolutely nothing in common. D tries to engage in conversation and has grown tired of being grunted at or ignored. Their room is as silent as a tomb and D is thrilled to get her outdoor time.

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Any more suggestions are welcome.

Adding two more suggestion copied from another post:

“My D20 has met quite a few people through her school’s Class of 2024 Facebook page, which then spread to Snap and Insta with smaller groups. She is also in a group chat somewhere with a bunch of people from the Honors Program. All of these connections were made online first, then she and her roommate/suitemate started connecting in person for studying, visiting over coffee, etc. It’s not much, but it’s better than what a lot of freshmen have right now. She’s trying hard to make friends before the snow flies, because she understands how much harder it will be when they can’t meet outdoors.

Best wishes for a great freshman year! I hope you do make some great friends.“

And another:
“No doubt your college will have most / all of their EC clubs online. I would peruse what options they have and join a few to see if anything resonates with you. If possible, get outside and study. Being socially distant while the weather is nice you may find you can connect with people doing the same. Do you have a connection with your room mate? If so, perhaps discuss ways you can extend your bubble to have some meaningful social interactions together. Go to the campus gym if it is open or see if there is some form of physical exercise group meeting to run or play something outside like tennis, pickleball, golf frisbee. I am sure your college knows that it is hard during these times to meet people and so they will have put options that perhaps were in person now as online offerings. GL!”

My D has had some success getting a group together to go hiking or for a walk outside. You have to make appt to go to the dining hall, so she always invites people via text to see if they want to join her, which has worked pretty well. Most kids respond favorably because they are all starving for some type of socialization. She is VERY social and has still struggled to meet new people. This year is tough all around.

Adding on to the social media ideas in this thread, search Instagram for your school and many clubs/organizations will be posting their activities there. For example, my son’s Residence Life Dept posts outdoor movie nights, smores nights, etc on Instagram. Also there are outdoor fitness classes which would be an easy way to meet people, or outdoor clubs…most schools have had Outdoor Experiences clubs all along. I think the idea to write your social media stuff on your door is fantastic, especially this year it really seems that that is how kids are connecting since face to face is so much harder.

Also know that everyone is in the same boat…looking for ways to connect or get out of their room…so a good old fashioned "want to walk to the coffee shop later? " or “want to study together for the test?” (within your school’s social distancing rules), or asking someone on your floor to go to one of the activities you hopefully find above.

Adding this thread, recently created by a student.

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