Covid-proof activities to keep your freshman year exciting

Design by Julia Sanbe, Art Director
Design by Julia Sanbe, Art Director
Design by Julia Sanbe, Art Director

As many already know, the upcoming semester will be one unlike any other and certainly not the party-packed, drug-induced experience coming-of-age movies prepared us for. But, that does not mean it still cannot be one to remember.

With classes both online and in person, the new hybrid system still allows new ‘Canes the opportunity to take in the breathtaking scenery that is a staple of the University of Miami experience, while continuing students return to the place they’ve come to call home. And, while the class of 2024 won’t get to experience their first tailgate parties or take the annual welcome week “U” formation picture just yet, there is still plenty to do.

For those interested in exploring campus, the Gifford Arboretum is the perfect place to start. Home to a beautiful array of flowers, unique trees and only a short walk from the majestic creatures that reside in Lake Osceola, the arboretum is a relaxing and peaceful place to go for a walk, study quietly or practice yoga and/or meditation. With the uncertain time we are currently in, it could even be the perfect place to have a picnic with friends while keeping proper social distancing and sanitization techniques in mind.

For those less comfortable with being out unless absolutely necessary, do not fret. Below, you’ll find a list of Covid-friendly activities to keep you interested this fall, most completely doable from the comfort of your own living space:

1. Binge watch new and old favorite shows on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. UM provides HBO for free to resident students, and both Hulu and Amazon have student discounts for those who don’t already have access.

2. Read a book. Discover the magic that is your imagination, then recommend it to your friends. After, you guys can discuss what your favorite parts were and how you would adapt it to fit the TV or silver screen.

3. Create collages or pieces of art using materials you find at home– fun and sustainable!

4. Make a playlist for your friends.

5. Go for a run, walk or bike ride.

6. Scrapbook and gift it to a loved one. In times like this, reminding your friends and family how much you value them goes a long way.

7. Scrapbook and keep it for yourself. 50 years from now, you’ll want nothing more than to look back at all the amazing memories you made during your first year of college.

8. Organize your closet and donate (or resell) the clothes you no longer wear.

9. Download Duolingo, and try to learn a new language! In a city as diverse as Miami, being multilingual– or knowing even a few words in a different language– will take you a long way.

10. Attend virtual club meetings! UM has hundreds of student organizations, many of which will now be operating via Zoom or in-person with social distancing rules. Do not let covid stop you from discovering a new passion, rekindling an old one or even meeting the friends who will later become your bridesmaids/groomsmen.