Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this has been a difficult time for first years to make friends. Social gatherings and many activities usually seen as a way to establish connections have either been cancelled or turned into a virtual event. These challenging circumstances make it commendable to create relationships in this unusual school year. In honor of this, I have taken it upon myself to showcase the beauty of friendship by creating a definitive ranking of all the friends I have made.
7- My Academic Advisor: Friendship is hard to define. However, it is sadly not simply quantified by aggressively crying during a quarterly zoom meeting with your advisor when they ask you, “How are your classes going?”
6- Robert Fagles’ Translation of The Odyssey: This book is the inanimate equivalent of every O-Week friendship I did get to have. The University forced me into its proximity during first week, and then I ultimately lose it and never see it again by second week.
5- Members of Christian RSOs that Constantly DM me: The last time I went to church was when I accidentally threw up in the middle of Sunday school in 2nd grade. However, I think the Christian RSOs who mass message everyone with “UChicago” in their bio can be considered some sort of friend to me. I know they only want to talk to me so I join their group, but I appreciate their persistence and the fact I never have to text first.
4- That One Person from my House that I always see in my floor’s communal bathroom: I do not know their name, but I do know that we brush our teeth around the same time which in many ways is all I need to know.
3- Emily Wilson’s Translation of The Odyssey: If I had to guess the most reasonable number of translations of The Odyssey any likable teen should own, I would guess zero. Nevertheless, since arriving at UChicago I have acquired two. This translation is better than Fagles’ because the cover is prettier, and it has a bootleg audiobook free on Youtube. Listening to the voice of a random stranger monologue various words and references I do not know without letting me speak feels like what I imagine every UChicago Tinder date is like. This edition therefore classifies as some sort of vague relationship I have managed to establish during my time on campus.
2- Everyone I have ever been in a breakout room with: Because of COVID-19, group gatherings are strongly discouraged by the university. Therefore, I consider the various breakout rooms I have been corralled into an essential part of my social life on campus. I may have never had an awkward conversation in the rancid basement of a random fraternity, but I have gotten the opportunity to feign interest in a discussion group about a text I barely read.
1- People that have followed me on twitter: The older I get the more I realize I am just evolving into the AP Psych textbook example of social media addiction. My little pea brain grows into the size of a deformed pear when someone around my age likes my tweet consisting of 8 words and 13 grammatical errors.