One of the many challenges displaced college students are facing is the disorientation of a new environment while social distancing. For many Taylor students, family, scholarship and personal time were all separated by the hour as well as physical location, and now these lines are blurred for people in all stages of life.
Even after four weeks of online classes, it is okay to not feel quite settled in. Since Taylor is home-away-from-home, it is easy to be tempted to recreate the campus we love from far away.
Below are some basic do’s and don’ts of bringing a little bit of Taylor home.
For those who lived in dorms without AC, DON’T secretly tamper with the AC in your home and convince your family to use box fans in an attempt to make your household “so much closer,” and have a “shared experience.”AC may bond you at Taylor, but your attempts may prove detrimental at home — especially if your dad finds out you touched the thermostat.
DON’T forget that your toilets will not flush on their own and your sinks will not turn on if you wave your hand hard enough (unless your bathroom is fancy like that). Double check that your deposit at the porcelain bank didn’t bounce.
DON’T underestimate the benefits of a “quiet hours” expectations conversation. You may still be living in an “intentional community” with someone who needs to sleep — maybe that someone is you!
DON’T blast country music on your street to recreate walks around the loop at Taylor during baseball season if you have neighbors who are working remotely. Or who don’t like country music.
DON’T give up on the freshman frenzy or ring by spring — just because you’re social distancing doesn’t mean the pursuit is over, it’s only distanced. While you’re on the couch watching Tiger King, a Wengatz boy is on the prowl for your girl.
DO think about ways to bring your favorite parts of your dorm’s physical space to the space you’re in now. If you liked the sound of your AC unit or box fan at night, bring white noise into your bedtime routine. Try to recreate the levels of lighting in your dorm in your bedroom. Store your belongings similarly to the way you did at Taylor so you stay organized in a new setting.
DO remember that you will often be your own housekeeper now! The carpet will not vacuum itself and the hair in the shower drain will remain if you are not vigilant.
If you share space with others, DO brainstorm ways to cultivate “shalom” as you do the hard work of “life together!” Maybe introducing modified floor traditions to your siblings or putting on a mini roommate-Airband-competition is in order. Maybe if they drive you crazy, screaming “open house is over,” will do the trick.
DO spend time outdoors while social distancing to enjoy some fresh air, a change of scenery and a pleasant stroll without the threat of being pegged in the head by tolf players.
DO continue developing the perfect quarantine-themed pickup lines for the most face-to-face-less flirting you’ll ever experience if not a contestant on Love is Blind. If things go south, you may not see them until August… or maybe your next Zoom class. DO play it cool.
These are strange and scary times and there’s plenty to miss about campus life. Whether you schedule FaceTime parties with your wing every day or consider it a triumph to get out of bed before 11 a.m., your proximity to your discipleship community has no effect on the amount of grace that abounds for you. Be sure to give your professors grace, too — even the one that sends a dozen two-sentence emails a day.
Bonus tip: the counseling center is still operating through telecounseling. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for check-in sessions via Zoom.