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Isolation and You (Opinion)

OWU is a school packed to the brim with fun people, but it can often be a struggle to find those people. Especially coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, plenty of students are rustier socially than they'd like to admit.

First of all: That is okay. I cannot understate this, there's zero wrong with you inherently, and you haven't lost your touch in any permanent sense. It just takes a lot of scraping to get all that crust off the old social gears.

An important player in helping students to clear that crust is OWU, arguably even more important than the students themselves.

There are opportunities available, but they're vague, nebulous, and often under-recruited or under-advertised. People finally breaking free of two years of social atrophy are not going to be flitting about from club to club, the social butterflies that they once were. Especially if OWU doesn't make more of an effort to reach out.

What can OWU do for students? I think the reopening of physical clubs is good, but perhaps offering services or groups actually about resuming normal life, breaking out of the shell that's calcified around you, sharing stories and experience. Nothing in human history brings people closer than commiseration, and having alternative perspectives on issues will always be better than not. Other options may include more dedicated social spaces in residential hallsor spots for students to congregate besides libraries.

But most importantly, dear reader, YOU can make your voice heard. Ask yourself, "What's really holding me back, socially, right now?". Mull it over, and consider what it makes you want. What it makes you frustrated that we don't have. Then, spread the word! Suggest it. To your counselor, to your Res Life Coordinator, to your RA, anyone! Word spreads here, and the faculty take student suggestions very seriously. And trust me, when you're socially rusty, talking to them is so much easier than talking to other people.

Of course, the onus is on you, too. OWU can't make you go, so when opportunities do arise, maybe give them a shot. It's agonizing, I know, but if you can just grit your teeth and drag yourself to whatever clubs or events are (even tangentially) related to your interests, I guarantee you'll start seeing better results. Keep trying, keep pushing for positive change in our school, but don't give up on yourself until it happens.

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