From the Editor’s Desk: Finding Friendship In Extracurriculars After an Isolating Start to College 

The Phoenix provided now-Editor-in-Chief Nicky Andrews with a sense of community after her initial collegiate socialization was put on hold for the pandemic.

In January 2021, I joined The Phoenix in hopes of becoming a better journalist. Little did I know it would end up becoming one of my main personality traits and a core aspect of my college experience. Socially, I struggled to feel like I had friends during the COVID-19 pandemic. With classes online and all my friends out of state, I quickly lost many blossoming friendships from my first semester of college. 

Taking courses online made it hard to make classroom friends and eliminated all possibilities of making friends with those in an on-campus residence hall. By the time we returned fully in-person, I was a junior living off-campus, making new friendships felt impossible. 

Over the past year and a half, however, I’ve seen how being a part of a school club preserved the space for making new friends. Yes, almost all of my friends may be somewhat concerningly obsessed with their college newspaper, but I feel incredibly grateful to have them, especially given my abnormal college experience. 

For readers facing a sense of loneliness, my biggest piece of advice is to join a campus club. Clubs are not only a space to meet people with shared interests but can end up becoming the part of college you remember most fondly. If you’re unsure of what club to join, I will always encourage students to give The Phoenix a shot — sometimes being concerningly obsessed with your college newspaper isn’t so bad. 

On the topic of clubs, read about the work of the Ukrainian Club on page 4. Don’t forget to check out what your local aldermanic candidates have to say prior to elections on page 6. Lastly, check out sports assistant editor Gabbi Lumma’s column on her love for football and the Kansas City Chiefs on page 15. 

Nicky Andrews

Nicky Andrews