Raise your hand if you’ve heard the word “unprecedented” more times in the past month than in your entire life. Let that feeling of raising your hand really sink in, feel the stretch in your triceps and let the stench of your natural deodorant come wafting into your nostrils.

You may not get to experience this sensation for another five months. 

It’s safe to say that the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s campus will be … unparalleled to anything us college kids have experienced before. Becky Blank has promised us a hybrid school year, but as I’ve been presented with solely online classes, the only hybrid I’m worrying about is a respectable pajama/functioning adult clothes combo.  

If you plan on leaving your living quarters at all next semester and are anxious about what the semester will look like, you’ve stumbled upon the right article. This is your go-to guide to living out your fabbest life on UW’s Corona Campus!

Masks 

Let’s talk facial coverings. Whether you’re a Fashionista or a Plain Jane, you don’t have to let this requirement become a blah moment! While wearing masks can feel drab, the coverings themselves don’t have to be. One easy trick to liven up your look is to pick a bold solid color that can easily match (or clash with) any outfit! Neon green, pastel pink, denim even!

If you’re a little spunkier, choose a more intricate design (hint! pattern on pattern is very in right now.) It never hurts to add a little sparkle to your mask. Don’t be shy, and grab the glitter glue! 

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Above anything, use a mask to your advantage. You have the opportunity to cover nearly half of your face. No matter how naturally beautiful you are at 8:50 in the morning, this is a blessing, honey. Slap on some thick eyeliner, and call it a lewk. 

6 feet protocol

I’ve often made some of my closest class friends by sitting one foot apart in a computer lab, constantly invading their space to make sure I’m doing an assignment correctly. This, unfortunately, will not be happening anymore. Instead, people are going to have to rely on their natural wit and charm to make class friends. 

Tough, I know. Luckily, I have some tips.

Practice on your roommates or prepare phrases to say, “Emily, that’s a great point you made. Also, do you want to be socially distant pals outside of class? We could bake brownies over Zoom and use the Microsoft Teams chat function to talk all night long!” 

Although proximity may not be a contributing factor, remaining sweet and thoughtful will attract new acquaintances. The same goes for class crushes. No, you won’t be having a Cady Heron “It’s October 3rd” moment, but you can flex your smarts at a distance — even if that distance is online.

For those reliant on attractive classmates to keep you on your toes, have no fear. Canvas pages are extremely helpful tools to find the full name of a classmate. Employ a stealthy friend or take it upon yourself to find their Venmo, Linkedin and Spotify profiles. 

Ever heard of the Campus Directory? Suddenly, you have their digits. Smooth as ever. 

Keagan Schlosser/The Badger Herald

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Besides classes, let’s think of some more socially distant dilemmas. The Carte line? Crossing University during a passing period? Until the university addresses these issues, you may want to consider packing your own paninis for lunches and using alternate routes — such as the tunnels — to get from class to class. 

Get-togethers

This one may be the most difficult to adjust to. In a pandemic, you can’t trust anyone. One must carefully pick and choose who to spend time with. 

I recommend establishing a small group of friends and only doing activities with them. No study dates, no tinder matches. Now, if you’re anything like me, you only hang out with a rather small, exclusive group anyway, so it shouldn’t be that much of a change. 

But this also means you won’t be able to do regular friend group activities. Here are some alternatives:

Instead of going to Memorial Union’s Open Mic Night, simply host one yourself. 

Instead of pursuing Paul’s Pelmeni after a long Thursday night at the library, fancy up your own homemade dumplings. How hard could it be?

Instead of bouncing from frat to frat on Friday night, drink alone in your room and cry to Mitski’s latest album. 

Coronalternatives can be fun!

Online School

Rumor has it that only the prettiest, most talented, smartest, coolest people have a completely online schedule this fall. So if you’re like me, you might also have all of your classes at a remote distance. 

Truthfully, this blows. But it presents a few fun options to go along with it.

If coffee shops open, you can become a grungy, mysterious regular at Colectivo. Pretend to be a moody Master’s student while you’re really just skimming the first sentence of each paragraph of an assigned reading. 

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Having class online also presents you with the option to multitask during class. Instead of scrolling through Twitter during your chem lecture, do something productive. Baking pumpkin bread or aligning your chakras. Laying face down and dreading your existence is also an option. 

Hopefully by this point, your nerves around fall semester have eased. The vibes will no doubt be dramatically different, but it’s up to YOU to make the best of covidity. Peace, love, wear your mask.