How to make friends and be COVID-19 safe

Meredith Abdelnour, Arcade Editor

A group of students sit outside Monroe residence hall while wearing masks.

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The first few weeks of college are stressful enough between adjusting to a new city, living on your own for the first time, and learning how to manage your time wisely. Adding a global pandemic on top of the usual first-week jitters might make college life feel nearly impossible. Despite this, having friends to rely on is more important than ever, and it is still possible to connect with other students and form meaningful friendships! Here are a few tips on how to make friends while following COVID-19 guidelines and staying safe.

Join clubs

Many clubs and organizations are hosting online meetings, outdoor small group gatherings, or fun virtual activities! Attend the online Activities Expo on Sept. 6 to explore different organizations and find some which seem interesting to you. Organizations will be hosting open Zoom meetings to answer questions and talk to prospective members. Whether you find an organization you want to stay with for the long haul or go to a few club meetings before deciding it’s not for you, it’s always good to try new things! Plus, you’ll meet friends who share similar interests with you.

Get outside

Going outside and getting active is one of the best ways to have fun while still adhering to social distancing guidelines. Toss a frisbee or play Spikeball on Brown Field, which is located next to the stadium and open for student use! Audubon Park, located right across the street from Tulane’s Academic Quadrangle, is a beautiful place to go for a jog, bike ride, or have a picnic. 

Befriend classmates

Although it might be a little more difficult with many classes being held on Zoom, class is still a great way to meet a new friend. Professors will often use breakout rooms so students can communicate in smaller groups and get to know each other. You can also always contact students from your class and see if anyone wants to join a study group. 

Reach out

It might be easy to convince yourself that everyone else has already established an amazing group of friends and is perfectly settled in at college, but social media can be deceiving and the truth is that others are probably looking for friends just like you are. Knock on your neighbor’s door and introduce yourself, message the girl from your orientation group who seemed nice or ask that guy in your math class for help. Chances are, they’ll be happy to introduce themselves and excited that someone struck up a conversation with them.