Being back at school, it’s natural to want to socialize, spend time with friends and see as many people as possible. However, we all know that this can’t be the norm this semester. In order to be safe and keep us on campus, we all have to do our part in keeping our circles small. The University’s contact tracing team has advised that you should only be able to list under 10 people as close contacts (people you have been with for 15+ minutes without a mask).

While we may not be able to socialize and catch up with friends in typical ways, it is still possible to have fun with friends in safe, socially distant ways. Here are some examples of fun, safe activities you can do with close friends during this exceptionally unusual semester:

Picnic: A longstanding Villanova trend that has gotten even more popular this year is picnics by the church. Bring some blankets, grab takeout and enjoy golden hour and a nice sunset with your friends. This scene is also an incredible aesthetic Instagram post opportunity, so get on it.

Portable Chairs on the Quad: Hang out with your friends in front of the Chapel or on Mendel Field. Post up with your friends and your chairs for a lovely socially distant catch-up. The vibes are immaculate, trust me.

Take a Walk Around Campus: Walking is underrated. Go on a walk around our beautiful campus with a few friends. This is great for people watching or awesome exercise, and it’s overall very beneficial for both your physical and mental health.

Hike: Take a hike while it’s still nice out. This semester is the perfect time to explore the nature of Delaware County. Haverford Reserve has lots of trails nearby, or explore Valley Forge National Historical Park. Google “hiking near me” for endless options.

Outdoor Dining: Support local businesses and enjoy a meal with your circle by visiting one of the local restaurants for lunch and dinner. Minella’s, Xolo, Pietro’s and so many more are offering expansive outdoor seating options perfect for small groups to enjoy. Don’t forget your mask.

Other Activities: There’s always painting, grilling, frisbee, soccer, hammocking and more. The options are endless, so you can get creative. Take advantage of being able to be with your friends while we are all still on campus. Start a Villanova Bucket List to turn all these dreams into a reality.

Netflix Party: When all else fails, revert to an early-quarantine classic. Download the Netflix Party extension on Chrome and watch a movie with your friend group. Obviously, it’s no classic movie night, but one can still get the feeling of togetherness. 

No matter what you do, always remember to wear a mask at all times and practice safety measures, like hand washing and keeping a maximum of 6 feet between every other person.