Alicia Wang

October 5, 2020

LORENZEN | 161 Things Every Zoom University Student Should Do

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We need a new list. Zoom University is a big place. There’s a lot to do. Here are some of those things. Some of them are very serious. Some of them are very not serious. Some of them you should absolutely do. Some of them you should absolutely not do. Please use your own judgement.

  1. Pregame your testing appointment.
  2. Pretend you live under a rock. Whenever anyone mentions Frazier’s Model, act like you believe Frazier is a painter and his model is his artistic subject.
  3. Break up with someone because you really want to focus on social distancing right now.
  4.  Match your shirt color choices to Cornell’s covid status. Find yourself overjoyed that we’re in green, because that means we’re doing well, but more importantly, because green really brings out your eyes.
  5. Have virtual sex in the stacks.
  6. Practice looking tough during your corona tests by shoving q-tips up your nose at home.
  7. Wallow in the existential dread of the mounting evidence that we are living through the fall of civilization. Take a nap.
  8. Walk holding ~glove covered~ hands around Beebe Lake.
  9.  Take your study abroad classes over Zoom while in Ithaca. Inexplicably develop a Danish accent anyway.
  10. Forget your asynchronous class is a thing for three weeks. Do ten assignments in one night.
  11. Recreate your freshman year by chugging a Keystone, blasting bad music and then waiting 20 minutes for your frozen pizza to heat up like you’re at Nasties.
  12. Wax poetic to a freshman about what they’re missing. Apologize when they begin to cry. Offer an air hug from six feet away.
  13. Tell yourself the reason you aren’t getting work done is because of Zoom fatigue.
  14. Genuinely suffer from Zoom fatigue.
  15. Become the Zoom host after your professor’s connection is disrupted. Proceed to teach the class.
  16. Vote.
  17. Aggressively make banana bread at 3 a.m. after failing a prelim.
  18. Challenge President Pollack to a game of bridge.
  19. Put your cat on the Zoom screen. Please. Please. Please.
  20. Coach your professor through screen sharing.
  21. Actually have a good discussion about course material in a breakout room.
  22. For those living at home, tell your parents that you’re taking wines when you’re really just getting hammered on Zoom with your friends twice a week.
  23. Go to the Virtual Career Fair with zero expectations of finding a career.
  24. Go to the Virtual Career Fair, get signed in as someone else, steal their identity. Welcome to your new career 🙂
  25.  Change your Zoom background to a picture of yourself studiously at attention — sleep during class.
  26.  Give a formal presentation while wearing a blazer, dress shirt, tie and boxers.
  27.  Zoom from outdoors every single class you have with that one professor who rejected your class outdoors idea last semester.
  28. Recreate your lost study abroad experience by using Google Earth street view to wander through the side streets of Copenhagen while listening to “Der er et yndigt land”
  29. Land an internship!
  30. Find a new internship after that one gets canceled.
  31.  Get put into a breakout room by yourself by mistake. Talk to yourself about the reading because you’re a good student.
  32.  Remember that you are loved, that these times are brutal but will eventually pass, that we’ll get through this together.
  33.  Look down because you’re definitely deep in thought and NOT looking at your phone.
  34.  Make a shrine to our lord and savior, Anthony Fauci ’66.
  35.  Watch Titanic and realize that being a student doing regular homework and exams during 2020 is like being the band playing while the ship is sinking.
  36.  Make a new best friend in a breakout room.
  37. Go on a Zoom date.
  38. Witness your professor get mobbed by their adorable children mid-lecture.
  39.  Try to cut class by saying that you’re sick. Frantically realize the implications of that statement. Send your professor a follow-up email saying you’re sick, but not super sick, not like, corona sick.
  40.  Pass a pencil from box to box in a sixty person Zoom lecture.
  41.  Put a dollar in your savings account whenever anyone says “These are extraordinary times.”  Become Jeff Bezos.
  42. Go to Festival24 and 10-Minute Play Festival.
  43. Find solace in the fact that some things never change when you witness a freshman trying to use a clearly fake ID to buy a cartridge at Louie’s while you wait in line for a chicken parm sub.
  44. Throw bagels at the Student Agencies construction site as vengeance for them tearing down the old CTB.
  45. Stop throwing bagels because you really can’t afford to waste that food.
  46. Post a snap with a bottle of corona because that is HILARIOUS.
  47. Download Tinder. Delete Tinder. Redownload Tinder. Delete Tinder. Rinse, repeat until you marry.
  48.  Netflix Party and Chill.
  49. Streak across the Arts Quad … in a group of less than ten people, separated by six feet and wearing masks.
  50. Unironically purchase a Zoom Ring Light.
  51. Bury a bottle of Bacardi on the slope. Dig it up when we have our next Slope Day in 2025.
  52. Use Covid as an excuse to stop attending all social events even if they’re online.
  53. Sob when you realize snow days are now obsolete.
  54. Spend the entire Zoom admiring your own box because your hair looks fabulous today.
  55. Sleep a full eight hours.
  56. Tell yourself shots are disinfected if you set them on fire.
  57. Actually turn on your camera during class so your professor isn’t teaching into a void.
  58. Do a Zoom apartment tour.
  59. Follow official New York State sex advice and wear a mask during sex.
  60. Try every single facial hair variation until you find one you like.
  61. Call 2019 The Good Ol’ Days.
  62. Get really into LinkedIn.
  63. Have a nervous breakdown when your laptop stops working.
  64. Phonebank for a candidate you believe in. Ideally, a candidate who happens to believe in something too.
  65. Receive your financial aid decision before the semester begins. Wouldn’t that be neat?
  66. Write a fiery letter to the editor defending the honor of CTB.
  67. Support local businesses.
  68. Request the video of a lecture for the sole purpose of checking how you looked during it.
  69. Don’t. This is not social distancing.
  70. Remember that there’s no such thing as college rankings when we’re all in Zoom University.
  71. Get angry about the U.S. News College Rankings.
  72. Sneeze once. Look up corona symptoms. Realize you need to relax.
  73. Call your family.
  74. Pick your housemates for next year based on how long they wash their hands for.
  75. Message your friend in chat that you have a crush on someone in your Zoom class and accidentally send it to your entire class… only for your crush to reply back with their number.
  76. Join the Sun!
  77. Pay even more in tuition for online classes because that makes sense, apparently.
  78. Look into citizenship requirements for other countries after reading CNN.
  79. Take up letter writing to your friends who aren’t on campus. They miss you.
  80. Look back at snap memories of packed parties like Gatsby looking at the green light across the bay.
  81. Be someone’s emergency contact.
  82. Send your long distance Cornell bae an email with the subject line “Crime Alert — it’s criminal for you to look so good ;)”
  83. Thank every single Cornell employee profusely for the work they do.
  84. Lose internet connection right when your professor cold calls you. Thank the Wifi Gods.
  85. Go to your professor’s Zoom office hours a few minutes before your time slot presuming that you’ll be put into a waiting room — instead drop into a heated confrontation between the professor and another student over grading. Say, “Well, I’ll come back later” in a high pitched voice.
  86. Wear a mask.
  87. Screenshot your professor’s Zoom background. Make it your background. Tell your professor you like their interior decorator.
  88. Blow a kiss from six feet away on the suspension bridge at midnight.
  89. Stream a film from Cornell Cinema.
  90. Gain the corona 15 from all that bread you’re making. It’s okay.
  91. Use gallery view. Always use gallery view.
  92. Refresh Canvas every three seconds out of a pervading fear that you’ve forgotten about an assignment.
  93. Constantly double check that you’re muted because you don’t trust Zoom.
  94. Tell yourself that you’re going to focus on yourself this semester — instead, focus on your friend’s snap stories.
  95. Unplug for a few days. Miss all your classes.
  96. Smile and nod when the dude whose connection is awful makes a long winded point which you cannot hear at all.
  97. Take Oceanography over Zoom … from the ocean.
  98. Make your own Covid dashboard. Include metric recording elapsed days since your last breakdown.
  99. Join a new club!
  100. Drop your new club because Zoom classes are somehow way more work.
  101. Successfully get through a full class without checking social media. Reward yourself by spending the next hour checking social media.
  102. Feel sad about missing Ithaca winter while you’re studying from home. Make a homemade “Walk Like a Penguin” sign and hang it in your bedroom.
  103. Learn to knit with a friend.
  104. Give up on learning to knit. Annoy your friend until they make you a scarf.
  105. Actually do an optional assignment. Revel in your commitment to scholarship.
  106. Launch a movement to cancel rent and consequently make an indelible impact on the national discourse on rent cancellation. Wait, nevermind, it’s been done.
  107. Start every email with “Hope you and your family are healthy.”
  108. Get mad gainz by lifting textbooks since gyms have germs.
  109. Name your fantasy team “Ryan Lombardi Field.”
  110. Receive twenty Cornell Weather alerts even though you’re not living in Ithaca.
  111. Build a still in your apartment in order to avoid the risk of infection at bars.
  112. If you voted by mail, check to make sure your vote was counted.
  113. Be there for your friends.
  114. Write “Behavioral” in sharpy on a compact. Place it in your purse and throw it at people you see not social distancing.
  115. Appreciate your professors because they’re trying so hard during such a difficult time, and they make it all worth it.
  116. Don’t appreciate the one professor who promised to lighten the workload during these difficult times and then immediately assigned ten assignments due tomorrow.
  117. Hold other students accountable but don’t outright demonize college students who mess up when placed into a dynamic which demands that they act in direct contravention to their nature as 18-24 year olds by the realities of Covid-19 and the decisions of the administration.
  118. Drink more water, you cactus.
  119. Use less water because of the drought, you leaky faucet.
  120. Support vendors at Ithaca’s Farmers’ market.
  121. Book a $10.00 flight to South Beach for Spring Break 2025.
  122. Mutter “I’m old enough to remember when taking food from a dining hall was against the law” while eating your Keeton falafel.
  123. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Enjoy things. Make stupid jokes even if only one person finds them funny.
  124. Become an expert in vaccines because you google “Covid Vaccine” twice a day.
  125. Get follow requests from three dozen SA candidates.
  126. Forget to wear a mask for a minute. Never forgive yourself.
  127. Watch the sunset from the slope with the knowledge that the sun will eventually set on this weird time.
  128. Write in Denice Cassaro for President. We can make this happen.
  129. Fly a kite.
  130. Get into a staring contest with the googly eyes someone is putting on the trees in the Arts Quad.
  131. Buy a personal tanning booth — emerge from your two week New York State quarantine absolutely glowing. Don’t actually do this.
  132. Actually be thankful for Bingalee Dingalee’s incessant chiming because it keeps you partially tethered to the concept of time.
  133. Believe your prelim is easy because the professor made it open internet — bomb it.
  134. Visit Cornell Botanical Gardens.
  135. Make the walk of shame from your bedroom to the kitchen for a post Zoom sex snack.
  136. Sing the alma mater to yourself sadly after you finish your last class of senior year with no commencement in sight.
  137. Ask your friend how they’re doing only for them to reply “Bad, the world is ending,” you respond “Yeah, big oof” and then proceed to have a conversation about Schitt’s Creek.
  138. Make infinite plans for next semester when everything will finally be back to normal again.
  139. Come to the slow, heartbreaking realization that there won’t be any return to normal for a long time.
  140. See a therapist over telehealth and get the support you need. Things are really hard right now. You are loved.
  141. Get really into investing with your spare time.
  142. Swear off investing forever.
  143. Create a fire remix of the music from the Covid-19 training video.
  144. Pace around your apartment with your laptop to make Zoom clubfest feel like the real thing.
  145. Eagerly look forward to the Cornell Chronicle every week.
  146. Spend so much time indoors that you don’t realize the changing of seasons.
  147. Begin to say the idiom “avoid it like the plague” — catch yourself and change your phrasing abruptly.
  148. Honor RBG’s legacy by aspiring to live up to her example.
  149. Say their names.
  150. Call her President Pollack, not Martha.
  151. Change your major to Gov after watching the 2020 election.
  152. Change your major from Gov to anything else after watching the 2020 election.
  153. Forget about the blue hand raise function on Zoom and awkwardly raise your hand in the air for twenty minutes until you get frustrated.
  154. Change your Groupme Photo even though it sends a notification when you do. Be bold. Be courageous. You can do this.
  155. Drop a class because your professor makes you turn your camera on during lecture.
  156. Write a fanfic about your professor and post it on Piazza.
  157. Get tapped for a secret society only for them to say “Oh, nevermind, we sent this Zoom invite to the wrong netid.”
  158. Call the CIT Help Desk and ask them how they’re doing, like really, how they are, deep down. Are they okay? The amount of work they must be doing right now.
  160. Start a petition to reopen Carriage House after you realize that things went to hell the minute they announced they were closing.
  161. Try writing “161 Things Every Zoom University Student Should Do” only to realize that CUNooz already did that six months ago and theirs was much funnier. Rediscover your Imposter Syndrome.

Andrew Lorenzen is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]. When We’re Sixty Four runs every other Tuesday this semester.