So we’re really doing this quarantine thing, huh?
We’re now somewhere around day 37-ish of trying not to go outside, and hopefully, at this point, we are starting to establish some sort of basis for how we are living our lives while dodging disease and trying to stay sane.
Something that hasn’t seemed to get easier for most, however, is the struggle of missing our friends that we went from seeing regularly to seeing never. The good news is we have plenty of time to get crafty and figure out how to stay connected and even have some fun, while sticking to the rules.
Over the last four weeks or so, my friends and I have come up with several ways to make the most of the situation, many of which others may be able to incorporate into their quarantine-routines as well.
1) Start a joint FaceTime call
In true Apple fashion, their software was one step ahead of the times when they created the ability for group FaceTime calls approximately 18 months ago. With this, all iPhone users can participate in video chats without downloading any separate applications such as Zoom or Skype.
I desperately miss the three other girls that I live with during the school year, so my favorite thing to do has been adding them all to a group FaceTime call and chit chatting just as we were doing in our apartment a little over a month ago.
A feature that adds a particularly happy amount of whimsy is the ability to swap faces with emojis and other graphics so that it looks as if you are talking to a dinosaur, unicorn, or whatever other crazy image your friends decide to turn themselves into.
2) Establish a virtual book club
Now I am a self diagnosed book nerd, but I truly believe that with all of the time we have recently been given, now is the best time to crack open that book you always hear great things about and have been meaning to read.
What better way to read a good book than with friends? I actually got this idea from one of my professors who mentioned recently that she and her friends and family have been reading a book every week and holding a video chat meeting where they all talked and shared their thoughts while everyone snacked and pretended they were actually together.
Make a groupchat, message those pals and pick something you all want to read. If nothing else, maybe while you read for the week you and your friends can pretend to live in another world where you’re, you know, actually allowed outside and stuff.
3) Challenge your friends to a fight to see who knows you best
Ah yes, nothing truly says friendship like a bit of healthy, or unhealthy competition, right? If your friend group is anything like mine then you know, everyone is always willing and perhaps a bit too eager to indulge in some mental combat.
Something I have absolutely loved doing recently has been making up silly Kahoot games featuring questions all about myself and then exchanging them with my friends who have also made Kahoots about themselves. We then call one another while we take each other’s quizzes and eventually things get pretty heated and everyone becomes consumed with really wanting to win.
Eventually, once the quizzes have all been completed, everyone knows who knows the best about who and which friends need to learn the basic facts like favorite ice cream flavors.
4) Create group playlists
When I’m with my friends, like, actually with them, there is almost never a time where we don’t have some sort of music playing. While you can’t necessarily recreate an in-person jam session right now, there are ways to try to replicate the feeling.
One way to do this is to create a joint playlist. Recently, several of my friends and I have started compiling all of our current favorite happy songs into one big list that we are all free to visit and listen to on our own accord. This way, we are all sort of listening together just like we used to do even if we aren’t really together.
Hey, this way might even be more enjoyable since no one’s out-of-key singing along can ruin the mood.
While we have been told to keep up the social distance, that doesn’t mean that we need to be completely removed from the people we love the most. Not seeing the faces we are so accustomed to seeing regularly can be painful but not impossible. So get crafty and do whatever you can to make sure you and the people you care about feel just as connected as before.
Ali Kochik is a second-year English major minoring in journalism. AK908461@wcupa.edu