COVID College: a guide

It’s important to remember that people’s bodies are more than just disembodied Zoom screen heads.

Two+women+wearing+masks+walk+past+each+other.+One+of+the+women+is+turning+her+head+to+get+a+second+look+at+the+other+one.

Photo by Aliyah Brown

Make sure to double check the mask color of people you see on campus—you wouldn’t want to mistake your roommate for your professor!

Rachel Patz, Capstone Writer

Moving away to college is a time in our lives that many of us look forward to with glee. From meeting new people, to getting to know your professors, to attending your first class, a college campus is the perfect place to broaden your horizons. Of course, college might look a little different this year due to COVID-19, but that minor bump in the road is no reason not to jump off the deep end into dorm life. To help you transition successfully, here are a couple of tips from Yours Truly.

First of all, keep in mind that it might be hard to recognize your former Zoom classmates in person while they are wearing masks. You don’t want to forget the names of your new friends, so to help with this problem, you might consider keeping track in a journal — complete with Stalkernet headshots, of course — to start off the semester right.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t disregard the 6-foot rule as you doggedly tail your classmates around campus, so it might be helpful to carry some sort of foam dart gun to tag them and ensure you don’t get too close. This noninvasive method is a great strategy to help keep track of who’s who around campus. (Of course, should you ever catch a glimpse of someone without their mask on, you might have to start all over again.)

Next up, professors. Professors are tricky because they are the main speakers during class hours and, given enough time, you may tend to start imagining them as nothing more than a head, shoulders and, depending on the professor, possibly a torso. For your personal safety, keep in mind that seeing their entire bodies for the first time might be a bit of a shock — especially when you throw a mask into the mix.

Speaking of masks, it is perfectly natural to forget occasionally that the color of your roommate’s lower face is not actually blue, white, black, or patterned — nor does it have a large Westmont W anywhere on it. Should you find yourself feeling nervous and confused when you get back to your dorm room at night and see a fully human face instead of the expected impassive cloth, take a couple of deep breaths and remind yourself of this: it will all go back to normal in the morning when they leave for class.