Making the Most of Social Distancing

Laptop on table and a woman writing in a notebook. Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

College is intended to be a social thing, which is perhaps the best part about it. Students sit in classes together, eat lunch together, join organizations together, and yes, we even struggle through exam seasons together. 

Over 20,000 current students call MTSU home, so it is safe to say that social distancing is tough for our community.

Just because campus is mostly closed and we aren’t having in-person meetings for the rest of the semester doesn’t mean we have to lose that social aspect, though. Not only would that not be good for our education, but let’s be honest – we’d probably go insane.

Here are a few things that you can do so you aren’t driven stir-crazy while you finish your semester at a safe distance from each other!

Learn something new

Books lined up with an arm picking one out. Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

I don’t know about you, but I feel like this is the perfect time to learn something new. Whether it be the basics of a language, a magic trick, or the history of medieval Europe, you can utilize this time to do something you always say you never have time for.

Reading is a perfect example of this. Most people, especially students, hardly read anything that they aren’t required to read. Work and sleep get in the way and class readings fill your typical appetite for knowledge.

Social distancing gives us time to pick up a book we’ve been wanting to read on our own, so get on it! You may never get another opportunity like this again.

One cool resource that MTSU provides is LinkedIn Learning. With this nifty program, you have access to thousands of videos that teach you cool and/or useful skills! If you’ve ever wanted to learn graphic design or how to build the perfect Excel spreadsheet, this is the place to go.

Hang out with your friends – virtually

As tempting as it is to increase the time you spend hanging out with your friends during this time, it is highly recommended that you decrease that amount.

As unfortunate as this sounds, it is a necessary precaution to take during this time. But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t find other ways to spend time with each other. 

One idea that is gaining traction around the internet is “Netflix Parties.” While you can’t watch shows and movies together in-person, a web app has been developed at where you can all log in to your Netflix accounts, hit a button, and everyone’s stream will play in sync. 

That way you can experience the best moments of the show – together!

You shouldn’t let this situation stop you from communicating with friends and family frequently. Video chat, phone calls, and text messaging may not be the same as hanging out with friends, but these interactions are still important. Check on your people!


Tennis shoes and weights on a hardwood floor. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t take care of your body. In fact, this is the perfect time to achieve some of your personal fitness goals!

The home workout possibilities are practically endless. You can walk (or run!) a couple of laps around your street, do some yoga in your living room, or try out some at-home fitness routines on your computer or phone.

Exercising will not only help you improve yourself physically, but it’ll keep you in a better mood and gives you something productive to do during your free time at home. Sitting around all day may be a dream for college students, but I promise you it’ll get old after a while.

Don’t fall behind on classwork

The switch to distance learning in the middle of the semester is tough for everyone. 

It means that professors need to modify their courses to accommodate the change, and it means that there will probably be some growing pains and issues as we work everything out on short notice.

What it DOESN’T mean, however, is that you have a free pass to slack off for the rest of the semester. 

The opportunities are still there for you to grow, learn new things, and do well in your classes. You may need to work a little harder and change the way you go about your classwork, but you can use this as a valuable learning experience.

In the professional world, you never know when something like this can impact you. Being flexible and working hard no matter the circumstances are very attractive qualities to organizations. Use this to your advantage!


Author Kobe Hermann is a senior at MTSU, majoring in management in the Jones College of Business and minoring in economics and business administration. The views and opinions expressed above are his own.