As Thanksgiving approaches, thousands of students are planning on returning home to their families across the country and the globe. With approximately 10,000 students usually living in residence halls and hundreds more living in Fraternity & Sorority Life housing, thousands of students will be forced to return home as their current residences close until mid-January.
While I tried to ignore the reality for as long as possible, I recently forced myself to face my addiction: social media. For many years I have been a user of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, VSCO and now TikTok. It never felt as though I used these applications more than any of my peers. I would try to not be on my phone when around friends. The only exceptions were when I wanted to upload a Snapchat selfie or some event occurred that required me to instantly look at my phone so my Instagram or Snapchat stories would be in better view.
One of the most uniting components of human cultures is music. Music is played in almost every setting, from political events to restaurants to house parties. In college, students listen to music when studying, hanging out with friends or just walking through campus. The music we listen to has the power to evoke different emotions and feelings.
Since the University of Michigan welcomed its students back to campus for the 2020 fall semester, many students have felt torn between risking exposure to COVID-19 and remaining isolated. Even when people make the choice to stay in, some still risk exposure if those they live with attend large indoor gatherings with no masks or distancing. The COVID-19 pandemic has complicated social pressures from friends, tensions with roommates and the natural desire to socialize.