No one was prepared to leave campus in March, but students have made the most of the abrupt situation by finding creative ways to stay in touch with peers.
The COVID-19 pandemic can’t stop students from cultivating what Taylor University is known for — community. While this aspect may not be as accessible as stepping out of your room to an entire wing of friends, meeting someone for coffee or heading to the library for a study session, this time away has created new and different means of staying in touch.
Thanks to technology, many have been able to communicate with each other frequently. FaceTime and Zoom offer a space for a variety of activities. For example, you and your family can still do game nights with others. If each party has the same game, this is a great evening activity and opportunity to enjoy the warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies you just made.
Video calls also enable you to do virtual Bible studies, lunch and coffee dates and even group workouts. One person plays the video and together, you can get your body moving.
Other ideas include more activity-based initiatives. Freshman Mackenzie Derico started a “Spring Break Bucket List” for her wing that included ideas such as getting takeout or phoning a friend. She then shared it as a Google Doc and each girl was able to check off what actions they had taken to encourage intentional community.
Freshman Becca Petrucelli has a weekly schedule of times she has set aside for connecting with friends from school. On Wednesdays, she and her friends have a group FaceTime lunch. Throughout the rest of the week, she plays soccer at the fields by her house with another friend, has picnics in her front yard, drives to her friend’s house and conducts many phone calls. She and her friends also have food delivered to each others’ homes, which is a fun way to surprise and bless them with a treat.
While technology has become the new normal, it is safe to say that nothing will ever outdo a hand-written letter. Both Derico and Petrucelli could not emphasize the impact of this enough.
“I have gotten mail from quite a few people — I think this is one of the best ways to make people feel loved,” Derico said. “Taking the time to send letters, and receiving letters, brightens your day.”
We all are looking forward to the day when FaceTime is not the normal, but for now let’s continue being intentional about this alternative means of communication.