A picture of someone on a rock staring out at the ocean

How I’m Staying Connected During Quarantine 

Now that we’ve spent a couple months in quarantine adjusting to the “new normal,” I'm definitely finding new ways to stay connected with friends that I hadn’t considered before. Now that I can't rely on seeing people in class or during in-person events, I've had to put in a bit more effort and creativity to stay connected with others, but I've really been enjoying it! Here are a couple of new things I've started which I really like:  Schedule regular Skype hangouts.  Online video-calling platforms like Skype have been great for catching up with my friends across the country. I’ve also been enjoying scheduling time to hangout with my friends and do a specific activity, like watching a movie on Skype together, talking about a problem or an idea, or even baking something together. I’ve been watching a couple of TV shows with my friends and it’s been super helpful for staying connected. 
A picture of a person waving on Skype
Hanging out with friends on Skype!
Get involved with clubs and events. Even though it’s the summer, there’s still a lot to do on the UofT campus…virtually! I’ve been part of a music club at U of T called Vic Records for about a year now, and I’ve been really enjoying their online album-listening sessions which they hold weekly. Many other clubs are doing online events like this to stay connected during quarantine! 
A picture of the Facebook event for the upcoming Vic Records listening session
upcoming Vic Records Listening Session!
There are also many U of T events which you can register for on the Career  & Co-curricular Learning Network. These events, which feature topics from healthy living to academic success, are great for learning important information and also connecting with people.  Start a book club. Another exciting thing I did this summer was join a book club that my friend recently started. Being part of our book club, which focuses on critical race theory, has been a great way to keep myself informed about some of the things going on in the world, stay busy, and also have meaningful discussions with my friends. I really recommend starting something new like this with friends if you’re looking for interesting ways to fill your time and stay connected.  A picture of a book. Have physically-distanced hangouts.  Finally, following the advice of my local public health authorities, I’ve been enjoying having physically-distanced, outdoor hangouts with a couple friends (make sure to always follow your local COVID-19 public health regulations, as they vary/location!). Though it felt a bit strange at first to not be able to hug my friends and have to stay outside, I’ve started to really love hanging out outside and getting a chance to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with the safe company of friends. 
A picture of someone on a rock staring out at the ocean
physically-distanced hangout!
Though we’re living through unprecedented times, I’ve definitely found that staying connected with others and maintaining some sense of normalcy is super important for my mental health and happiness. Plus, quarantine has encouraged me to create new connections and do things I would never think to do otherwise, so I’m very thankful for that!  What ways have you been staying connected during quarantine? 

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