Students staying connected via tech during quarantine

By Emma Russell

Student Life Editor

When COVID-19 forced the world into a quarantine it made it practically impossible to visit with friends. This was made infinitely harder for Washington College students who were sent home, you can’t make safe, socially distant house calls when many of your friends are living in different states.

Senior Danny Palmatary is a part of a large student group chat involving students who are looking forward to work on a musical project in the upcoming semester, via the GroupMe app -an app used widely by the WC campus community- and said being able to talk to like-minded people is incredible.

“Obviously none of us are seeing too many people on a day to day basis anymore, so having this space where people are constantly sharing something that made them smile or offering support to someone who needs it is such a heartwarming thing to have happen,” Palmatary said.

Senior Berkleigh Fadden, who is a part of the same GroupMe group chat, said it helps her feel more connected to the campus community.

“It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone and I’m part of a group of people that supports each other. It’s also relieving to know that I can be genuine around people I love,” Fadden said.

While group chats are an easy way to communicate with multiple people, others have taken more steps to see and talk with their friends.

Sophomore Zach Papatheodorou hosts a weekly zoom call with his friends where they play games, watch movies, and draw together.

“Yonder months ago, like when we all thought this was still just spring break part two, I was not feeling super-hot, and I made a tweet like ‘I sad somebody watch the Steven Universe movie with me,’” said Papatheodorou. “And two of my friends took me up on this offer and I was like ‘hmm what if I did that but with all of my friends.’”

“Also, I’ve had Jackbox Games for like six months and I wanna use it. And everyone likes Jackbox and likes seeing friends and I was like let’s have a game night,” he said.

Jackbox is an online party game. Up to eight players can play together by accessing the website on their phones. So far there are six Jackbox party packs, with each pack consisting of five different games.

“I’m just happy to have the chance to see my friends and socialize,” sophomore Max Tucker said.

Tucker said getting to talk with his friends is the thing that he loves most about game night.

Abigail Wilson, who spent her freshman year at WC spent her quarantine moving to California, leaving behind not only WC but her friends as well.

“Moving to the Mojave Desert amidst a global pandemic was one of the most challenging moves my family has faced,” Wilson said. “Because of the effects of COVID-19, it’s nearly impossible for me to meet new people in my new home.  Thankfully, my friends back on the east coast are willing to humor the three-hour time difference to talk to me.”

“Playing Jackbox is definitely a nice reprieve from online school and daily life of unpacking boxes and adjusting to the new environment.  The biggest challenge is definitely the time zone change. Three hours doesn’t seem like that big of a difference in theory, but in practice, 10 pm for me is 1 am for my friends” she said.

There are plenty of ways to still connect with your friends during quarantine, whether it be via group chat or zoom call and there are plenty of numerous ways to have fun.

Friends can play Jackbox games together -party packs are available for sale on Steam-, watch a movie through the free Netflix Party website, or even engage in virtual trivia nights.

Just because you’re not with your friends, doesn’t mean you have to lose your ability to connect with them.

Featured Photo caption: Collaborative group drawing on Civic Doodle, a game on Jackbox Party Pack 4. Photo by Emma Russell.

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