By Hannah Keziah Agustin

It is undeniable that the college experience is inseparable from the people who make it worth remembering. Through the ups and downs of the journey towards a degree, it is essential to have people you can lean on and cry with. This is why, even in a pandemic, we must take the time to put ourselves out there to make friends. But how exactly do we do this in a disconnected virtual world and with social distancing? Here are some tips on how you can make friends in a pandemic!

1. Join an organization

This year’s Student Involvement Fair may have passed but it is never too late to join an interest group! Choose from this list of organizations, fraternities, sororities, and clubs. It is easier to make friends with people who have the same interests as you do. Get involved and make some friends along the way.

2. Sign up for intramurals

Training with people allows you to develop a rapport with each other both inside and outside of the field. Whether you are into basketball, football, or Ultimate Frisbee, UW-Whitewater has a variety of club teams to choose from. It’s the easiest way to bond with people because you all work towards the same purpose. Check out this link for more information.

3. Work on campus

As important as it is for us to have friends, college is also the time to build your resume and get yourself geared up for the real world. While you’re at it, it is important to build meaningful relationships with those you work with. These connections are what makes work worthwhile. Visit Handshake for the latest on-campus jobs and internships.

4. Connect through social media

Reach out to your classmates and ask them to hang out in a socially distanced way through a short hike or a lunch out in a park. No text message can replace in-person bonding. If this is not possible, schedule a chat with your friends by inviting them to your personal WebEx room. Ask them how their semester’s going. Catch them up on what you’ve been doing.

5. Step out of your comfort zone

In college, everyone’s figuring themselves out. We tend to be hyperconscious about how others perceive ourselves that we forget that others are human as well. To make a friend, you must be willing to let other people come into your life as you come into theirs. You’ll never know what can happen unless you say hi to your seatmate from six feet away.