7 Things You Notice About Your College Town After 5 months In Quarantine
Start writing a post
Community

7 Things You Notice About Your College Town After 5 months In Quarantine

In the months following the University of Missouri's switch to online classes and subsequent summer break, I have come to appreciate a few things more about my community that I had never noticed until the COVID-19 lockdown.

5
7 Things You Notice About Your College Town After 5 months In Quarantine

When spring semester classes moved to online, I faced the choice of packing up and moving back home, 7 hours away, or staying in my college town, Columbia, Missouri for the unforeseeable future. I chose to stay, justifying my decision by pointing to my expensive apartment lease and few friends that were also staying. I also (naively) believed that my part-time campus job might allow its student employees to come back within a few weeks. This hope of a few weeks turned out to be 5 long months. In these past months, I have had a lot of time to appreciate and make new discoveries about the community I have come to call home.

You don't notice how much of the town's population is made up of college students until they're gone. 

Columbia, like a lot of other college towns, seems to rotate around its college like it is the sun. According to data collected by the US Census, the ages 20-25 by far make up the majority of the population and during COVID-19, students have gradually returned to their hometowns. Downtown Columbia, once overrun with any number of college students bar-hopping or walking dogs, has become quiet. Restaurants, coffee shops, and liquor stores that could at any time be found full of young people, now have only a few, local patrons.

Columbia is home to a lot of beautiful sunsets in the summertime. 

While I know sunsets don't change depending on if college is in session or people are in town, it really seems like there have been more and more photo-worthy sunsets since quarantine began. Maybe it's because when college is in session, it's much more common that I am out with friends, (sometimes) studying in the library, or getting ready for some party. It's a rare afternoon that I would take the time to pause, go outside, and watch the sunset like I have been doing much more often as of late.

What makes being in college so special is not your campus, or classes, or dorm; it's your friends. 

Living in you college town after most of your friends have headed back home is really different. The number of people you can call to grab take-out with or go on a hike with is drastically smaller. FaceTime and Zoom calls become the new 'hang-out.' It's not nearly the same, but it is the new normal.

It's no longer normal to wear sweats/pajamas walking around campus.

When the only people walking on campus are alumni who never left town or professors who have stayed to continue their research alone, it feels pretty weird to wear sweats on campus the morning after a late-night zoom happy hour. It's just not the same when you're the only one hungover and looking like you just rolled out of bed.

The most unsettling place to walk through and see it empty is Greek town.

During the school year, Greek town is the one place you can walk through at any time of day or night and see swarms of fraternity brothers or sorority sisters hanging out, walking around, and partying. Seeing the lines of pristine houses desolate and quiet is unsettling in a way that you never would have expected it to be.

All those college traditions you love during the year- midnight ice cream runs, lazy brunches, and tailgate mimosas have lost their glamor when the town is empty. 

As the college students left, the college culture seems to have left with it. It's not as easy to justify eating ice-cream in the middle of the night or drinking before noon when you're the only one doing it!

You actually might start to miss your college lectures. 

During the year, you wouldn't be caught dead expressing that you missed going to class. But after months in quarantine, you might start to crave the normalcy that lectures brought you. You could always count on all your peers bringing their coffees to class, wearing sweats to sit in the back of the lecture hall (or the try-hards in business casual sitting up front). Dozing off during you Monday morning lecture has never looked so appealing.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1167552

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

737087
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

749895
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

483660
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

297937
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

437292

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

294817

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

198404
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments