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A guide to having a social life during COVID-19

Humor Columnist Mary Grace Giles offers worldly wisdom for socializing while the world is burning down

<p>Get out, go have fun, run around the Grounds</p>

Get out, go have fun, run around the Grounds

Making friends:  

When it comes to finding new friends in the sometimes-intimidating college environment, there are two keys — confidence and names. Look around — pick your target. Choose a group of about seven to 12, because the more students, the more friends to compete for your attention. Boldly walk into the middle of the group. Look every person in the eye — for at least 30 seconds — and start addressing them by name. 

Oh, you don’t know their names? Don’t worry. Just look at their faces and take your best guess. 

Remember confidence is key, so shout, “Hey Sandra!” to the girl beside you. 

Oh, you don’t know what they’re talking about? Don’t worry, just have confidence and take control of the conversation. 

Loudly start explaining complex scientific research about an intellectual topic like the flat earth. And as you take control, don’t forget to continue addressing all the Daves, Sallys and Chads standing in the crowd. With names and confidence, you can make a personal connection that guarantees a lasting impression on your new friends. 

The weekend:  

Get out, go have fun, run around Grounds. As an educated U.Va. student, I know the cool kids streak around the Lawn late on Fridays nights — but why stop there. If coolness is a factor directly related to streaking — and since we all know correlation implies causation — then the wise will tell you that the more you streak, the cooler you become. So, don’t sprint back to your clothes pile after a quick jaunt around the Lawn — rather, multitask as the efficient college student I know you strive to be and go ahead and run some errands. Just don’t forget your mask!

Heck, why not stop by Jim Ryan’s office for a quick hello. If you’re lucky, he might even introduce you to a secret society where some cool dudes in uniforms chauffeur you to a mysterious grey room, where you begin initiation through “bail.” But keep that on the down low! And only after you finish that math homework you’ve been putting off for let’s face it, too long, should you then meander back to your abandoned clothes strewn about the Lawn. 

On another note, if you study all weekend, refusing to leave your room, then you can rule the Monday nightlife. Everyone working hard and cramming during the week will be jealous as you suavely stroll into empty bars and throw legendary one-man parties.


Remember to purchase your online math homework because your trial is ending soon, and you should pay for your pain.

Fear of COVID-19: 

Do you feel like your college experience is being endangered by unmasked hooligans? Do these emboldened fools dare to encroach upon your pristine, filtered bubble? Don’t worry, we knew this was a risk and have developed a few techniques to ward off these dirty vagabonds. 

  1. It can be assumed with reasonable sensibility that these free-breathing individuals tend towards more ferine logic and therefore would feel perturbed by a combination of loud noises and excessive motion. As such, simply flail your arms wildly above your head while jumping in a circle on one foot and releasing a battle cry that would make Patrick Star himself jealous — ‘Leedle Leedle Leedle Lee.’
  2. Another sound approach is one that has been here since multiplayer games first emerged veritable eons ago — burns. When you see pearly whites approaching you from a bit too close, throw out a classic — “Bro, I can smell your breath through the mic” — but simply replace “mic” with “my mask” to inflict damage that’s going to need a bandage right over their mouth and nose to heal.
  3. A final savvy solution for scattering these simple schmucks is squealing to a superior strength. Pigeons are everyone, and although the birds work for the bourgeoisie, right now your goals align. So have a conversation with your local flying surveillance device and let it know whom to keep an eye upon.

At the end of the week:

Take some time for yourself. Shower, eat, use the bathroom if you haven’t been able to squeeze this into your hectic schedule yet. Remember — personal care is important. 

As you lay in bed pondering what homework you have forgotten or when your first midterm is, also take time to reflect on your few first days in college. The good, if you followed the guide, and the the bad, if you failed to follow the guide — and everything in between. Reflect on how you boldly entered friend groups, gracefully repelled problems and navigated weekend adventures. Reflect on how as the week progressed, you rose through the social totem pole, with peers whispering your name in awe as they stayed far, far away in deference. 

You will find yourself questioning whether your superiority has divided you from the common student, and perhaps eventually reach a more plausible conclusion that in the words of Steven Smith — you have been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray, run amuck and flat out deceived.

Abandon the prospect of a peaceful slumber as your thoughts turn sharply towards regret and lament over your actions these past days. The yelling and spinning, the randomly assigned names, talking to pigeons or one of the many other objectively ill-advised activities. These are certainly not the actions of a popular college student or any ~cool~ kid. These are actions of a fool led astray by another fool. But college is about memories, so when these embarrassing events randomly appear in your thoughts for years to come, I hope you bury your head in shame while looking back fondly at your first few days.

Mary Grace Giles is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at