1. Use Zoom to host parties
In theory, our professors are supposed to use online remote conferencing platforms such as Zoom to give lectures over the next month. While I have little faith in my 77-year-old professors’ ability to master such platforms while simultaneously being unable to play audio from a YouTube video, I have faith that we can use Zoom to our own advantage. No Rugby Road? No problem! Turn on your computer, open Zoom, connect with your friends and crack open a couple cold ones from the comfort of your own basement. It’s actually better than a real party because you don’t have to pay for an Uber to get home.
2. Ask your parents to undercook their food
The one thing I’ll miss most about the University these next few weeks is the food. While I initially doubted its quality, my taste buds have adjusted to the point where I call the flavors of Newcomb “home.” I mean, seasoning? What even is that? Fortunately, I’ve compiled a few cooking tips you can use to ensure that the flavors of Newcomb, O’Hill and Runk stay with you over the upcoming weeks. Simply take your mother’s home-cooked roast chicken, scrape off the seasoning and leave it in the oven four hours less than she usually does.
3. Rewatch our 2019 March Madness run
When my family and I first started discussing the possibility of being homebound, a common sentence was, “At least we’ll have March Madness to keep us from losing our minds.” Ah, how naive we were. Still, not all is lost. Since there is no tournament this year, we will remain the reigning national champions for the second year in a row. And since last year’s run was so impressive and anxiety-inducing, why not just watch the reruns? Bonus points if you stand for the entirety of the game — despite very much wanting to sit — because of peer pressure.
4. Wear shower shoes
Ah, shower shoes. A first-year tradition. As someone who lived in a Dillard suite — where all we had was one shower stall and a roommate who spent every night at the Aquatic & Fitness Center — they were essential. Though I stopped wearing them as most second years do, I plan on bringing them back now that I’m living at home again just to remind myself of my roots — as someone who once attended an actual college.
5. Streak your front lawn
I have not gotten around to this proud University tradition myself, as I have a very shameful tattoo on my upper back that I don’t want to expose to any Lawn residents. Luckily, I can now streak in relative privacy back home, and I encourage anybody else who hasn’t knocked this item off of their bucket list to do so now as well.
6. Burn through plus dollars
Listen here, U.Va. If you aren’t willing to refund me my meal plan, I will keep using it despite your protests. Though I will not dare set foot in a dining hall, I have $250 plus dollars to burn, and I trust the sanitary processes of Newcomb Starbucks enough to risk that journey. My current plan is to make the four-hour round trip every day to spend $4.65 on grande white chocolate mochas until my plus dollars are refunded. That is 52 mini-protests against the capitalist machine. You’re welcome, society.
7. Use your fake ID to get booze
Yes, Dad. My name is Andrew David Kiser, the 5-foot-7, 125-pound Chicagoan, born and raised in the Windy City since 1994. Why don’t you believe that? What do you mean you were at my birth? 2000? Please. I am a 26-year-old man. Why don’t you believe that? The bouncer at Coupe’s does! Let me into your liquor cabinet!
8. Maintain a bad sleep schedule
This is easy enough. No matter where you go, this is going to be your life. You can tell yourself, “school, sleep, social life, pick two!” all you like, but you know it isn’t true. You can have it all — you’re just too lazy. Just like always, you’ll crawl into bed at midnight, then watch YouTube videos and scroll through Instagram for an hour and a half until sleep finally comes. Then you’ll wake up tired and blame it on the schoolwork like you always do. Soon it will be your job and then your baby. There will always be an excuse. But it will always be you. And deep down, you will always know it.
9. Attend lecture hungover
Mom, Dad, I promise this isn’t me. But to everybody else who lacks my supreme virtues and upright morality, I am happy to report that online classes are only going to make things better. Since it seems like most professors are keen to just upload lectures as PowerPoint slides and see what happens, you will no longer have to worry about waking up, dragging yourself out of bed, and so on. Now you can just wake up, grab your laptop, take an Advil and learn about the complexities of macroeconomic theory via a 26-slide PowerPoint.
10. Talk to your friends
At the end of the day, this change is a large disruption for all of us. Thankfully, I am a second year and will hopefully one day get to experience college life again. But until then, we have to adjust to the realities ahead of us — social distancing, monotony and lots and lots of time spent in front of your computer. To keep yourself from going crazy, keep in touch with your friends. We’re all going through the same thing, and we’re all going to go insane unless we go through it together.