We can all agree that lately, things have been crazy. It seems like March lasted a decade and then April went by in the blink of an eye. Half the time, I expect to wake up and find out that this pandemic was all some collective fever dream. But alas, that hasn’t happened. Since the coronavirus is unfortunately all too real, I’ve compiled a (by no means exhaustive) list of resources to help get through these “strange and uncertain” times. Hopefully, these will help your quarantine life feel just a little more like campus and a little less like wherever you happen to be self-isolating.
Most of the following are ways to remain engaged with the Northwestern and Evanston communities while at home. However, if you are in need of financial support, there are many organizations that can help. Northwestern is providing emergency assistance, which you can learn more about here. For more information regarding university resources, you can contact your financial aid office. Some outside organizations offering assistance include Course Hero, and Student Relief Fund.
If you’re missing SPAC or Blomquist, fear not! Northwestern is one of over 60 colleges and universities partnering with Recreation Movement to provide pre-recorded and live workout classes to students for free. There are even daily TikTok challenges – what more could you want?
Looking to get fit, learn a new skill or just have some fun during quarantine? Try out lessons offered by Northwestern’s own Ballroom, Latin and Swing Team (BLAST) or Fusion Dance Company – they’re free and beginner-friendly. Find out when they’re being hosted by signing up for BLAST’s newsletter or through Fusion’s Facebook page. If you’ve really caught the jitterbug, several professional studios are also offering free online classes for all levels. For example, Alvin Ailey’s calendar this month includes classes such as Beginner Ballet, Samba and Brazilian-African.
One way to maintain your spiritual wellness is by attending a virtual religious service. Many places of worship all across the world are doing live streams of services, and Northwestern’s own Alice Millar is no exception. Check out the Facebook page for the Zoom link to attend their 11 a.m. Sunday services. Religious organizations such as Northwestern Hillel, Sheil Catholic Center and others also have virtual offerings ready or in the works. Check Religious & Spiritual Life’s website to find links to campus religious organizations’ sites.
If you find yourself in need of centering, Northwestern Religious and Spiritual Life is offering virtual drop-in mindfulness meditation. Finally, you can put Zoom to some good use by stopping (clicking?) in and finding some inner peace. All are welcome, no experience required!
Living at home can be tough, and there are many campus groups holding drop-in hours or similar events where you can find support! Here are just a few of your options:
Lavender Lunch: A queer & transgender and gender non-conforming community meet-up every fourth Monday of the month from 12-1 p.m.
APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) Community Care: first and third Tuesdays of the month from 12-1 p.m.
Sana Sana: A gathering space for Latinx-identifying students every Wednesday from 4-6 p.m.
One of the best parts of Northwestern is the learning you can do outside of classes, like attending speakers or workshops. While you can’t get the delicious Northwestern catering that’s usually included, you can still engage with fascinating topics while at home. Those holding workshops include Medill, the Center for Civic Engagement, Northwestern Career Advancement and others. Many talks, such as the Knight Lab’s lunches, host some very interesting people who might not normally stop by in person. For example, the May 1 Lab Lunch will feature Jeremy Bowers, director of engineering at The Washington Post.
You may not be able to tuck yourself into a corner of the brutalist concrete behemoth that is Main Library, but you can still take advantage of library resources online. Along with their usual resources, the library has added several other useful tools in the wake of the pandemic, including free online access to books from university presses. See the library’s page for all the details.
Student organizations are a great way to connect with the Northwestern community, have fun and maybe learn something. Many of Northwestern’s student organizations are making it work virtually (including this very fun and educational student publication!). Check Wildcat Connection or various organizations’ Facebook pages for the latest happenings and opportunities.
All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Show
Have a party in your living room with All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Show! This is a virtual concert series sponsored by Evanston SPACE, showcasing local Evanston musicians. You can stream it for free via Facebook live, though there is a suggested donation of $5 to support the artists and the SPACE staff. If you’re unable to tune in live, past performances are also available on the page.
Evanston Public Library
Do you miss Evanston? Even without a library card, you can listen to EPL’s podcast, The Checkout, which features a different member of the Evanston community in each half-hour episode.
If you don’t have a library card from EPL, you can get an eCard by filling out this application using your Evanston address. This will give you access to eBooks and eAudiobooks via EPL’s Overdrive. (Of course, if you already have a library card from EPL, you can get access to all of their online resources, including movies, music and more!)
There’s also the falcon webcam, where you can observe the adorable peregrine falcons that have nested at EPL for 17 years. The falcons nest at EPL from approximately March to June every year, and right now, there are four eggs!
Concerts at Bienen
Being away from campus doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the musical stylings of Northwestern’s students and faculty. Concerts at Bienen is posting regular selections from the Davee Media Library on its Facebook page. It’s like your own personal Dillo Day, if Dillo Day were just about classical music and weren’t cancelled. If you prefer to find your own tunes, you can access the library yourself here. See crowd favorites like the Jazz Orchestra playing the music of Duke Ellington or NU Opera Theater performing Le Nozze di Figaro.