Last semester was a learning curve for all students in terms of adapting to a less COVID-affected life. With most of campus vaccinated, social life at Furman was in some measure restored, with clubs and organizations resuming their activities as normal. Yet, it seemed that a new problem was beginning to emerge in the pandemic's aftermath: although events were happening, participation at these events was lacking. For instance, FUOC and FUSAB held many events each week trying to re-engage the student body, and many people demonstrated interest in participating in them. However, when the events rolled around, they saw low turnouts even when free food or prizes were offered.

Event planners are now discovering that interest in an event does not necessarily translate to turnout. Former FUSAB president Sam Gary said, “In the past year, many of our events have been tremendous successes ([for example,] LDOC, Biltmore, winter wonderland, Briston Maroney concert, etc.), but we have also noted more difficulty than in years past with marketing our events and communicating with the student body.” Many are confused with what is causing these low participation rates because clubs, Greek life, and intramurals are being run the same way they always have been. Students still complain about being bored or having nothing to do, but it appears they often do not seek out new experiences outside of their comfort zone.   

After talking with leaders of campus organizations, I concluded that this lack of involvement came down to a few reasons: we are having a hard time re-engaging after very minimal social events last year; people are still worried about getting COVID-19; and the sophomore class has never had a legitimately “normal” school year at Furman. These are all valid reasons to want to stay more isolated and not leave our housing. But we are in college, and this is our best chance to try new things, like going to fly a kite on the mall, hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains, or playing in an intramural game with friends. Going from nothing happening to being thrown back into the thick of the social scene has been a jarring transition for us all. But the snow day showed us the importance of getting out of our comfort zones and being spontaneous, even during the busy parts of the year.

A critical part of college life is the opportunity to break from academic routine, trying new things not for a resume boost but simply for fun. It is so easy spend our time in college solely building our resumes, but nearing the end of the pandemic, it is necessary take a step back and think: am I actually enjoying what I throw my time into?