A Not So Serious Guide for How to Survive a Semester on Zoom

Hello Zoomies!!!! Welcome to our two-part guide on how to masterfully survive the most asocial semester since I wore headgear and glasses in middle school. We will teach you how to Ace your classes while still making all the crazy memories college is known for (like skipping classes to study for your Comp Sci midterm). So strap on your virtual seatbelts and get ready for a lot of incoherent advice from your two favorite buffoons for campus ambassadors.

A little bit of background on the two of us. I am Michael, a second-year student studying data science and loneliness. Also on this post is Kaelyn, a third-year student studying Geography (she doesn’t understand how Google Maps works so she had to major in it), Society & Environment, and whatever her boyfriend is watching on Netflix. Hi, all! I’m Kaelyn. Happy to be here. I’ll be here writing in italics! Thank you for that great introduction Michael, but excuse you my boyfriend only watches Hulu for your information. 


How to Keep In Touch With Friends Virtually:

The key to staying in touch with your friends virtually is to call them for every single excuse that pops up. If you’re making a PB&J and happen to wonder about the correct peanut butter to jelly ratio, call your calculus friends. Between the two of you, you should be able to apply those confusing equations and figure something actually useful out. And in the process you can talk about your day-to-day and build a silly friendship. Yes! Want to make cookies but are too lazy to look up a recipe? Call your friends who are master bakers and force them to recite a chocolate chip cookie recipe from memory. Will it go well? Who cares! Do you even have the right ingredients? Probably not. Salt and baking soda are basically the same, right? If there’s one thing Michael and I can agree on it’s that acting like an absolute idiot makes the world go around. Humor is the only catharsis during this time. 


How to form a pod:

You know that one person you’re close to and you aren’t tired of them yet? Cling onto them for dear life because they are the wall that stands between your brain and insanity. I mean… you can’t hang out with your family forever, right? Heck, move in with them! If you have the ability and have been staying safe, it’s not a bad idea to live with the people you want to see. It’ll reduce your contact with other people while still providing relief for your social cravings. If that’s not an option, make sure to dive headfirst into your Netflix account. 


How To Slide Into Someone’s Zoom DM’s / How to Ignore Someone Sliding Into Your Zoom DMs:

If you’re trying to DM someone over zoom there is one thing you need to remember: quantity over quality. I’ve DMed thirty people and I have only 2.5 friends to show for it (Kaelyn being one of them **blushing emoji**). When thinking of what to say, less is more. Think about it: during zoom people will be either desperate for friendship (which will make them respond positively to your “hey”) or they are too busy cultivating their relationship with Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber to have time for you. And, if all else fails, you can always do what Michael does and send your friends to a blog post you wrote to “impress” them! Ouch.


Also, there’s another key rule to follow when searching for zoom love. DON’T PIN A CLASSMATES VIDEO NO MATTER HOW ATTRACTIVE THEY APPEAR. THE  TEACHERS CAN SEE THIS AND WILL EXPOSE YOU. uh oh…  Ok… I guess I’m lying @Kaelyn, but doing this is an all-time low and I’m just trying to save our readers. So you lied to them??? I’m not the hero Gotham wants, I’m the one it needs.


When responding to someone’s DMs, lower your standards. Yes, they might be funny looking and have a strange sense of humor but hey, that’s what friends are for! Focus more on the fact that you are incredibly lonely and less on the fact that you certainly could do better than this. A friend is a friend, after all! If they start flirting with you, run. You don’t need that energy in your life right now. Saying you’re taken is a classic move to avoid weird conversations and if they still want to chat after that, you’ve found yourself a friend. 


Weekend distress

Go outside! Vitamin D is the most important thing during quarantine. Trust me… my little brother stayed inside for a week straight. There’s only so much League of Legends one kid can play before going absolutely bonkers. Luckily, the outdoors are one of the few places open right now and it’s not like you have anything else to do! In Berkeley, check out the fire trails or take the Classic Big C hike. It’s also the perfect time to explore the outdoors near your home, which you may have never been able to take advantage of. In my case, I’d never enjoyed the beach at all despite living in Southern California my entire life. Now I go to the beach (socially distanced, of course) almost every weekend! 


How To (Harmlessly) Prank Your Friends Over Zoom:

This is perhaps the most important section in our entire post. Freshmen, we hope you pay extra close attention as zoom bombing “potty talk” on your professor’s slideshow is no longer funny in 2020.

  1. Tell your friends the teachers can see whose video they pin on Zoom. Ok sorry, that was mean I know.
  2. Fake interest in llamas and manage to weave facts about them into everything you say! Llama jokes are so funny, they’ll make you spit. Llama lady would be so proud… 
  3.  When it’s your turn to screen share, have a tab open with your murder folders! Hey, those are private!



So there you have it Zoomies: the first half of our post!!! Be sure to read the second half of our post on Friday as Kaelyn will be sharing her boyfriend’s Netflix password, explaining her obsession with the Athena statue over Doe library, and virtually stepping on both of the campus seals at once!!! Think I’m kidding? You’ll have to check out part two to find out. Until then, Fiat Lux and GO BEARS!

Author: Michael Delvizis

Hi, my name is Michael! I am a sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Data and Computer Science. I love UC Berkeley as it helps me grow academically as well as personally. I hope to share some of my meaningful experiences with all who want to hear!