Connecting Through Food During COVID

What’s a nice thing that someone’s done for you lately? 

A nice thing that someone’s done for me lately, I would have to say… like, agreeing to go to meals with me. I know it’s a… like, during times of a pandemic, everyone’s worried about their own health but uh, once… when they just agree to come eat with you, it… it forms a stronger connection, you know, and definitely, like, shows that you trust the other person that they probably don’t have anything related to COVID, so… going out to eat with friends is something that… that’s nice to do. 

Is there a specific place you like to go a lot? 

I actually like to sit down in Caf. I know a lot of people don’t like to because it gets crowded at some points in time, but as long as you go not during the rushes, it’s pretty quiet, pretty empty. So I really like eating in Caf actually. 

Yeah, do you have a favorite thing that they serve there? 

Lo mein, specifically the beef, but the vegetable will do as well. Absolutely. Every lo mein hits differently. Yeah. 

Do you go out to eat with friends often? 

Only on occasion. Most of the time, I end up eating my meals alone. I know that my dorm eats together a lot and I want to minimize my risk so… and only extend that to people that I personally trust. 

Right, like the smaller bubble. 

Yes, definitely. 

So, eating with friends must be like a special occasion kind of thing. 

Yeah, sometimes we end up going to places like Oishii, like off campus and all of that, and I know a bunch of restaurants in the area that have taken a lot of COVID precautions, so I feel safer doing, like, takeout and like, just going to a quiet, secluded place to eat. Yeah. 

Definitely. Is there like a specific… like, when you go pick up take-out, is there a place you like to go eat that?

Merchants Square’s usually pretty good. Like, everyone most of the time keeps their distance, as well as… There’s a series of picnic tables in Colonial Williamsburg that we frequent, so that’s a spot. Yeah. 

Is there anything else you like to do with your friends? Do you spend a lot of time with them?

Yeah, I’d say I spend probably 70% of my time with friends. That includes times when I study. So, studying with friends helps keep me accountable and also just… being in that presence is pretty comforting to me, and it’s a lot better than just being alone in your dorm room. 

Right, it’s conducive to work. 

Yeah, yeah. 

Are you in a lot of the same classes as your friends? Do you, like, do work together?

Oh no, actually. I am not. I don’t have… my friend groups don’t really come from my classes. They come from… from relationships I personally made so I find that… Well, often is the case that we don’t share a lot of classes, but the ones that we do, sometimes we’ll collaborate. Not much though. But when we get together to study, it’s all pretty much independent work. 

Do you like it better that way? 

I actually do, because then we’re not all stressing about the same thing and the atmosphere remains at least… at least partially level. I mean, like, if everyone that I knew was taking, like, bio or chem and had the same exact exam on the same day in the same room, I feel like that level of tension in the room would definitely… sway a bit. So like, it’s a bit of how I manage my work. 

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