This week that special rodent called the groundhog just might give campus a clue about how long this year’s winter will be. With temperatures and snow falling, many Warhawks are also hibernating, while others strive to keep their minds and bodies moving.
True, most university operations are now being conducted online such as classes and club meetings, which can make socializing difficult. Cabin fever can start to set in – especially when going outside in the cold can seem foreboding. But the UW-Whitewater community is still trying its best to keep moving despite the circumstances.
“I’ve signed up for membership at the university gym, so that I can have fun with my peers and of course to be active,” says Morgan Sable. “I’ve also gone bowling with my friends so that I can get out some more.”
Despite several pandemic restrictions on campus, the university’s Williams Center facilities remain open at limited capacity, so students like Sable can still enjoy recreational activities. Sable is also in a research apprenticeship program, which helps keep her mind in shape.
Warhawks say that it is important to embrace the new normal and adapt to the fullest of their ability. That means getting out in socially distanced settings and also utilizing the valuable technology they’ve come to depend on.
“I’ll try to go on walks sometimes so that I can socialize with my friends,” says Noah Schaffrick. “We do Zoom meetings and socialize on WebEx, you know, so we aren’t isolated from one another.”
While COVID-19 has made it more difficult to meet in person, people like Schaffrick are utilizing modern social media and online platforms to maintain those important friendships and even make new ones.
Ulysses Angel uses Discord to talk with friends, and also spends a lot of time with a controller in his hands. For lucky gamers like Angel, the pandemic hasn’t changed much when he wants to escape into an alternate reality.
“I am usually here at Warhawk Alley playing video games two or three times a week,” he says. “But it can depend on whether or not I have to do stuff for classes – either remotely or in-person on certain days.”
Whether the groundhog sees it’s shadow or not this year, its clear that Warhawks are avoiding the winter woes both indoors and out in a variety of ways.