Locked down or locked in?

By Kelly Faherty / Staff Reporter

With social distancing as the new norm, students around the world are making changes to their campus life schedule and activities. Photo courtesy of unsplash.

Social distancing. A phrase that has taken the word by storm. For college students in particular, social distancing is a large part of the new age lifestyle. 

Students at the Wabash building, in compliance with the Roosevelt University code of conduct, are required to oblige to a number of social distancing requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, taking a daily self-assessment, wearing a mask at all times, abiding to room maximum capacities, and receiving occasional temperature checks.

Freshman musical theatre major,  Nathan Kabara said he has configured a way to keep his dorm environment from becoming claustrophobic. “I light candles in order to create a more calming area. I also listen to music because it takes me out of the world and any stress that I am feeling that day,” Kabara said. 

Though creative outlets can help, Kabara said acknowledging challenges is also a necessity, “Social distancing can be a challenge when living in a confined space. As a very social person it is challenging not being in large groups, especially when we could have easily gathered.”

Kabara is not alone. Roosevelt University freshman acting major, Karen Shirley shares the sentiment on both the struggles and successes of a more individual college experience. “It is sad to not see each other in close proximity for long periods of time, but I am thankful to have Zoom, which is a completely new platform for us to communicate with,” said Shirley. “If everything was normal, and we didn’t have Zoom, I probably would not have talked to my friends as much as I have been doing over quarantine.”  

Social distancing also has numerous implications on the student job market, which is something 19-year-old Morgan Nemcik knows very well at this point.  “As a tutor it is really hard to connect with the student to understand what you need to do to help them. Every student is different and requires personalized help that is sort of lost when you’re not directly with them,” said Nemcik. “In general, social distancing takes away a more personal connection we had with random people around us that we may have not even realized we had.” 

To positively spin this mess the students have been dealt, freshman acting major, Aden Bickler says it is always in the best interest to remember that no matter the circumstances in the pandemic, students are far from alone. “To me, having to stand six feet apart and wear masks everywhere is well worth protecting those who may be more vulnerable to the disease. So many have lost their lives, and had more safety regulations been placed earlier, some of those losses might have been prevented. Yes, we might be missing out on the ‘typical college experience’ but now is a time to be selfless and protect those who are at risk. If that means missing out on a couple of parties, it will be well worth it because lives are being saved.”

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