By Meghna Amin
When I once envisioned my final year at university, it seemed as though all the scenes consisted of nightclubs, bars, and dining out. And now, with coronavirus changing everything, and us all having to adapt to this ‘new normal’, we’re being forced to consider the fact that socialising is going to have to focus on who we’re with, rather than where we are and what we’re doing.
My Instagram highlights and Snapchat memories are just reminders of all the places I’ve been to and things I’ve done over the last few years at Durham. A ranking of all the college bar drinks from college bar crawls, drunkenly making our way to Paddy’s after a night out, even trekking to Newcastle just for a Maccys or Five Guys. Apparently, all the memories I’ve made with some of my newest and bestest friends consist of drinking or eating out.
Are any of us ready for that to entirely change next year? For Sunday Night Klute to transform to Sunday nights in, for Netflix parties instead of house parties, and for takeaways to cover up the anxiety of dining at a social distance.
We can’t imagine what freshers’ week will be like, nor how strange Market Place will be as we all roam around completely disguised by our face masks, nor even what we’ll be doing on Saturdays, as going out hardly seems an option anymore. More of a hassle than a relaxing evening. And let’s not even start on social distancing queues in Tesco on a Sunday – I imagine the queue will reach at least as far as the Swan.
So maybe it’s time to face the reality that going out to eat or drink, the foundation of so many friendships and hobbies, will be about the social aspect. It’ll be about who you’re choosing to spend your time with, the faces you’ve probably only seen over Facetime for the last six months. It won’t be about crossing off your bucket-list of Durham’s brunch spots, nor about trying to get through all the college bars on a Friday night. It’ll be about the people you’re with, whether it’s for a catch-up in the garden, a study date at a distance, or the occasional meal out.
And as pessimistic and depressing as it may seem that everything to do with socialising is all about to change, one thing is for sure, one of the benefits that will come out of this time, is meaningful relationships with the people you’re choosing to not eat out or go clubbing or drink with – something we may all need in the coming year.
Image: via Pixabay