Editorial: UTA students should attend in-person events to feel more connected to campus

For many students, the pandemic tainted their college experience and ability to socialize with roommates and classmates. They spent almost a year and a half staying in their rooms staring at their screens and feeling deprived of human interactions.

As the UTA community comes back to in-person classes and the campus is alive with events, students should take advantage of this opportunity to experience the college life they imagined.

Students can attend many events on campus such as Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month events or participate in a series of Homecoming events in November.

UTA will host the Oozeball Tournament, which has been a unique part of the campus’s tradition for over 30 years, on Friday. While registration has closed, students can still go to the Oozeball Courts on Summit Avenue and Greek Row Drive to have fun and breathe in the energy of in-person events on campus.

The Shorthorn Editorial Board believes UTA students can utilize in-person events to meet people and become more socialized. The atmosphere may feel intimidating for freshmen and transfer students who did not have the experience from their community colleges, but it may be worth it to attend those events and get the best out of their college years.

Many students may benefit from in-person events. Students do not know who they may come across and what opportunities await them as they communicate with other people. Some college students often find the best version of themselves by going to the events and even realize their potential by joining organizations.

International students should also go to in-person events. While it may be intimidating to attend public events if one doesn’t speak English fluently, they should not feel reluctant to join as the events may be an opportunity to absorb some of the American culture.

Students who live on campus can utilize these in-person events to look for cheap yet fun activities to relieve stress after a long day at school. Or students can even participate in events that offer food, such as Waffleopolis last month, to find free meals.

Some students will find they want to focus on academics and plan to not participate in any in-person events in fear of getting distracted from studying.

However, while academics play an important role and students should spend time on them, they may lose a huge part of their college experience if they only focus on studying. College life should be a combination between learning and playing, and students should realize that once they graduate, their job environment might not provide them the same fun experience.

The university also offers academic events and has academic organizations students may join to find people in their majors they can befriend and study with throughout their college years.

Students who are afraid of human interactions can ask their friends to go with them. Participating in in-person events may be one of the best opportunities to bond with roommates, as students may find that they have something in common based on their interests in the events and activities around the campus.

Nevertheless, students have the right to not want to attend in-person events because of COVID-19. Many students who live with young children or immunocompromised people may understandably feel hesitant to participate in a crowded place.

Besides, after a year and a half away from real human interactions, some students may feel awkward or anxious when meeting people.

But the university is still offering virtual events as well. Students can participate in career fairs where they can learn more about job or internship opportunities. The LGBTQ+ program also has Virtual Connexions for students to make connections and learn about available resources.

As the university is returning to 100% capacity, student organizations and departments are making plans to help students become more connected.

The Shorthorn Editorial Board encourages students to take advantage of that opportunity to become more sociable and help them understand more about themselves rather than locking themselves in their rooms, as they may have already done so over the past year and a half.

The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of opinion editor Dang Le; Editor-in-Chief Angelica Perez; associate news editor Cole Kembel; Katecey Harrell, life and entertainment editor; design editor Vivian Santillan; news reporter Taylor Coit; and copy editor Jill Bold. Harrell was not present for this editorial decision, and managing editor Adrian Rodriguez filled in.

opinion-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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