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Partying stopping in pandemic affects college experience

Partying Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Before the coronavirus pandemic, a reality for many college students was long lines outside of clubs with music bumping. Now, as a year of social distancing and staying inside passes by, students reflect on how going out is a part of the college experience.

With UH being a school with a majority of commuters, the college experience can be hard to grasp for some, especially with the addition of a pandemic.

For students like public relations senior Jacqueline Rojas, the pandemic putting a stop to going out also had affected her social life.

“I think parties are simply part of college culture, regardless of UH being a predominantly commuting school, many students look forward to experiencing college parties,” Rojas said. “I personally got that out of my system during my freshman and sophomore year, but I feel for the underclassmen who were excited to experience that.”

As Rojas grew older in her college years, she did not go out to UH parties as much as just go out for drinks with classmates and friends, until the pandemic made that harder.

“Whenever the pandemic started, it negatively affected the way I’d make friends at school due to not being able to spend time with them,” Rojas said.

While students such as Rojas are missing the days of their college experience before coronavirus, freshmen and students just starting theirs have no idea what that experience partying was like in a time before the virus.

“I feel like my time at UH has been completely different compared to people I know that went to college earlier,” said music education freshman Maddie May. “I feel like I haven’t gotten to learn about the UH college traditions or get a real college experience.”

May was not a big partying person in high school and was looking forward to trying the experience out when she got to UH, she said.

Even as far as personal UH experiences, Extra Credit, a rooftop bar within walking distance from the campus, has closed amid the pandemic.

As businesses are beginning to open once again, students are debating whether they want to go out as the world transitions back to pre-COVID-19 times.

“Once it is deemed safe by the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to go out and live a normal life, I definitely look forward to getting back into some parties and tailgates,” said management information systems and marketing sophomore Navid Hasan. “The normal life definitely will have its perks, and I think it will be good for everyone’s mental health to go out to socialize and live life.”

Hasan agrees going out to these clubs and party events was a way to meet people and relax after a long week of classes, he said.

“UH parties and events were something I looked forward to, as they always provided me with a fun experience to meet new people and grow a friend group,” Hasan said.

“The whole process of preparing and getting yourself to a party was an adventure, and the people you meet along the way would start to become your friends.”

Yet, the partying has not stopped with some other college campuses, Hasan said. He is really disappointed with how people on other campuses are treating the virus and continuing a club culture and party lifestyle as nothing has changed.

Social lives affected by social distancing have hope of returning back to normal as going out becomes an option soon enough and students are cautious but excited.

“I think I will go out, but not very often,” May said. “I’ve gotten used to just hanging out with my close friends and staying in that I think I prefer that to going out.”

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