Photo by Emily Branson / The Collegian: Hutchinson Community College students, including Josh Baker, have limited opportunities to socialize on campus.

By Brooke Greene / Staff Writer

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, lives have been flipped upside down, some more drastically than others.

College students’ lives in particular have been altered to best suit what is thought to be the appropriate path to ending a pandemic. Students have suffered through being forced to leave campus and the dorms in the spring, they have been transferred to online education and told to adapt to new campus, county and city rules and guidelines.

Rule No. 1, wear your mask.

While many might feel controlled by this pandemic, there still must be time set aside to have some fun. The only problem is where to have fun, considering plenty of places are shut down or have restrictions for viable use as a social outing. Bowling while wearing a mask may not sound fun, and theaters are still under from the outbreak. So, the question remains – what are students doing for fun during the pandemic?

For Hutchinson Community College students such as Goddard Sophomore Lynze Kotschegarow, spending time outside became more of a priority. She started going on runs and riding her bike to escape the captivity of the virus, as well as engaging in new hobbies.

“I started reading for pleasure again, and have spent more time with my hobbies like painting as well as trying new hobbies like making things with resin and making jewelry,” said Kotschegarow. She also made it a priority to spend more time with her loved ones.

Former HutchCC student Laynee Barlow, Plevna, experienced some of the chaos during last semester’s transition to online schooling.

“The transition to online was pretty hard. It did free up a lot of time though,” Barlow said. “Aside from putting in a lot of hours into working, I spent plenty of time hanging out with friends, enjoying being outside, I took my dogs to the park a lot and went home more than I had been. I got to spend lots of quality time with my little brother as well, and I started playing my guitar a bit again, as well as dabbling in cooking.

“Quarantine was a time to get back into things I hadn’t done in a while and pick up new things I hadn’t done before.”

Hutchinson sophomore Jace Losew also took advantage of being outdoors.

“I have recently spent my time building a backyard, moving a lot of dirt and rocks for the flower gardens, and hammocking on 43rd street,” Losew said.

Many students have not selected a specific place to make their new hangout spot. If anything they have ditched the social norms and started embracing character-building activities.

The place may not exist anymore, a place where everyone goes. Instead, students are reconnecting with things they loved before the stresses of college and before the idea of “adulting” emerged. Covid-19 may be a pandemic, but for some it may not be a social prison, but a wake up call to keep on pursuing happiness.

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