This year, Southeastern has had to make countless changes to its classes to comply with new Covid-19 restrictions, which has resulted in a very challenging start for newer students and incoming freshmen.
One of the most challenging parts of this semester for new students is maintaining a healthy social life while still staying safe.
Having a healthy social life is proven to also keep your body healthy and happy.
According to the American Freshman Survey that collected responses from about 153,000 full-time, first-year students at more than 200 four-year public and private institutions in 2014,” An increasing number of students – now 38.8 percent – said they spend less than five hours each week with friends, while just 18 percent said they spend more than 16 hours weekly with friends. It’s the opposite of the picture student responses painted in 1987 when two-thirds said they spent more than 16 hours each week socializing.”
According to health editor James Gallagher from the New York Times, “The brain naturally declines as we age, but the researchers said working antisocial shifts accelerated the process.”
Typically, Southeastern’s campus has multiple clubs and organizations standing in the Union or the courtyard welcoming new students and past students back to campus to ensure social interactions, but this year, almost all welcoming activities were done virtually.
Freshman Olivia Gross said, “I think I was most disappointed with the welcome week. I had heard such great things about the events that are always held around campus and all the clubs that can be joined, but I haven’t heard any news of events or anything.”
Gross said that she had planned on joining a list of organizations such as Educators Rising Collegiate, Lion PAWS and ELITE Women, but she doesn’t know how to go about signing up or finding more clubs and hasn’t heard anything else about them.
Freshman Megan Remondet just joined sorority Tri Sigma. Remodet said,” This year is super different for my sorority because most of the events and activities are done online, and most of the activities are going to be online too. However, I believe my sorority is still going to try to participate in charity events in person.”
Remodet added that she will be maintaining her social life and is excited to meet new people safely.
Living in the dorms on campus is especially hard for freshman. A new rule prohibits students living in the dorm from having more than one guest at a time, and the guest must already live in the building. This means that if a resident wants to have friends or family from out of town over, they would not be allowed in the building.
Elijah Rodriguez, a freshman living in the dorms, said, “ I hate it. I’m never even there. I always go to my girlfriend’s house now, and if I want to hang out with someone, I just go to her place with them.”
Though this going to be a difficult year socially, the virtual aspect of group meetings and events is ultimately safer for Southeastern’s students, faculty and staff and will still allow a form of communication for all students.