With how the current semester is panning out, it may seem impossible to pursue staying involved on campus. Online classes may be keeping you home, and social distancing may be keeping you from meeting or hanging out with fellow students.
But fear not, despite the circumstances, there are ways — even though they may be unconventional — to stay involved on campus and make the most of your college experience.
Club meetings this semester may not be taking on their usual form, but that does not mean they are not meeting in some capacity. If a certain club strikes you, do some research on it. Many clubs have social media pages, and if they are meeting it will most likely be advertised there.
Every year, The Taste of Elmhurst University — Get Involved Fair showcases various clubs and activities on campus, and even though it cannot have its traditional event in the mall, it will still be occurring virtually over the course of two days — Sept. 3 & Sept. 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m via Bluejay Life. You can access this on your myElmhurst portal page and visit virtually with members of each organization at their given times.
If you find yourself part of a club — even if you are not on the team that runs it — be sure to share any creative ideas you have on how your club could engage with its members from a distance. While some small club gatherings may be allowed, many clubs will nonetheless have to provide remote options.
Of course, if you find yourself interested in what we do here at The Leader, we are still up and running remotely. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining.
The university itself also hosts various activities for students, such as through the “Weeks of Welcome” with activities suited for those on and off-campus. According to the current schedule, there will be a variety of activities going on all throughout September — both virtually and in-person.
Currently scheduled on the mall, following social distancing guidelines, are activities such as mini-golf, disc-golf, a movie night, and more. If you are like many who may not be able to make it on campus, many activities will also be virtual, including various workshops given by different departments, as well as things such as virtual escape rooms and trivia nights.
In addition to these, some activities will take on a bit of both of these models. There will be various “Take & Make” activities — such as paint by numbers and scratch art — that will be provided for students to do at their own leisure. Some events — such as the annual hypnotist show — will have in-person and live-streamed options for viewing.
For the full schedule of activities, visit the Elmhurst University website and keep an eye on the events calendar for activities throughout the year. Note that some events will require registration.
Of course, not only are clubs and activities part of the college fun, but also spending time with the friends you make along the way. You may find that these circumstances may make you feel more distant from your friends, but there are in fact ways to make it work.
For spending time with friends in person, take advantage of the various outdoor spaces to safely meet up with fellow students on campus. The mall provides a lot of open space, but there is also the nearby Wilder Park that could be used as long as it is open to the public.
You may find that some of your friends may not even be on campus that much if at all this semester. Keeping in touch with people online can be tough, but there are ways to engage with them in new ways.
There are several free games that can be played with friends. Kahoot — which you may have used in classes — can be an option to make and partake in quizzes on inside jokes or niche topics your group is into.
There are also free games that you may have not heard of available on browsers, such as skribbl.io (an online pictionary game), playingcards.io (provides you with a deck of cards and various other game pieces), and — for more daring groups — Azala’s Picture Cards (basically Cards Against Humanity).
If you want to invest some money in some games with friends, Jackbox Games have many different packages full of fun multiplayer games. Other card and tabletop games are also widely available for a price as well through Steam.
Surely there are many more options out there, but these are personally how I have spent my summer playing with friends.
If you are new to campus, making new friends might seem like a daunting task to do in this manner. While joining clubs is always a good way to find people with similar interests, you could also check out Elmhurst University’s various student social media pages and groups to connect with people. For example, every graduating class has its own Facebook group, and there is also a general unofficial one for Elmhurst University students and alumni.