Students Navigate Social Life While Social Distancing With limited social options on campus, students have increasingly ventured outdoors and into Boston

After being in isolation for so long in March and April, the idea of seeing people for the first time seemed more exciting than ever before. I remember the first time my best friends from home and I were in the car together, and it was hands down the best drive of my life—even though we literally just went to get sandwiches from our town’s deli. Quarantine has certainly glorified time spent with friends that was once taken for granted. Being back on a college campus has reminded many of us how difficult it is to have a social life compared to previous years. So, how have people even been hanging out?

There is no doubt that BC’s guest policy has made going off campus a lot more appealing. The “BC bubble” has been popped as students are more eager than ever to explore the city. Outdoor restaurants by the Boston Seaport, such as Cisco Brewers, are some of the most popular destinations. It’s a good excuse to dress up, take plenty of pictures, and enjoy food that isn’t BC Dining. The North End is right up there as well—who can resist homemade pasta and cannolis for dessert? My personal favorites are Mother Anna’s for dinner and Modern Pastry (similar to Mike’s Pastry) for dessert.

Boston has also been a great platform for students to get creative and come up with more spontaneous activities than going out to a restaurant. Setting up a picnic with friends in areas like the Boston Common and the Charles River Esplanade is a great way to take advantage of the city without having to spend much money. Students have also been finding aesthetically pleasing streets randomly dispersed throughout Boston to have photoshoots on or just walk around. Acorn Street and its surrounding area in Beacon Hill is gorgeous—go there if you want to feel like you’re the main character in a movie that takes place in New England.

“The weekends are about having to get more creative,” Cooper Griggs, CSOM ’23, said. 

Griggs and his friends went bridge jumping one weekend, and he explained how they would not have been able to think of doing that last year with no restrictions.

As autumn starts to come around, so have fall-themed activities such as apple picking and pumpkin carving. Everyone’s favorite coffee drinks are also rising in the ranks. Some students love venturing off campus to their favorite coffee shops, while others have been crafting coffee on their own. I could talk about cute coffee shops all day—I definitely recommend Cafe Landwer for local brunch, Tatte if you’re looking to spend time in the city, and Caffé Nero as a peaceful homework destination. Whipping up something fancy in your Walsh eight-man kitchenette is another activity I’ve seen going on, especially the charcuterie boards on game days. Coming from a sophomore in traditional housing, it looks quite fun (in the least passive aggressive way possible).

Speaking of things to do on campus, students have grown to enjoy smaller gatherings in their suites and dorms as they respect BC’s guest policy. Obviously, they are looking forward to when they are able to hangout in large gatherings, but they’ve been able to make seeing smaller groups more exciting by adding a theme to them. Why not have everyone in your suite throw on a colorful wig or a fancy dress and set the scene like it’s pre-COVID times, just with fewer people? Look at the silver lining—you will grow a lot closer to your friends this way.

Spending time with friends outside on campus has been one of my favorite things to do. The tables right outside Lower are always buzzing with people doing work, eating and talking, or just relaxing. If there are two trees close enough to each other, the likelihood of seeing someone in a colorful hammock is pretty high. The lawns are also dotted with BC-themed picnic blankets. People have even brought their new quarantine hobbies to campus—students are seen roller-blading and skateboarding around.

Students have found creative ways to hang out safely in the midst of COVID-19, but are definitely eager to go back to the tailgates they know and love. The creativity these COVID-19 social challenges have prompted and students’ eagerness to be more adventurous off campus are bound to continue when “normal life” returns.

Photo by Maggie DiPatri / Heights Editor

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About Sofia Fauza