It’s hard to feel connected to school when all of our classes are online. Now that I don’t walk around the campus much, I find myself wondering, do I even really go to a school? It feels like a constant battle to stay connected. While there are fewer in-person events due to the pandemic, there are still some fun activities the university offers this fall and plenty of ways to stay busy on or around campus. Here are some activities to fill your last few weeks in October, from virtual events to outdoor excursions.

1. We’re Breathing: A Queer Open Mic Night

The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center is hosting an open mic night Thursday, in honor of National Coming Out Day. This is free to attend via Zoom, so you can support from anywhere! The open mic night aims to celebrate all “acts of courage and queer brilliance,” giving everyone a sense of community. I enjoy open mic nights of any form, because it’s fun to watch someone freely express themselves on stage.

2. Bike & Hike 

What better way to spend a Saturday in fall than a biking trip at Greenbelt Park? On Oct. 24, University Recreation and Wellness is offering a Bike & Hike from campus along Paint Branch Trail to Greenbelt Park. Tickets are $10, but that includes a helmet and bike rental. It’s an 8-mile round trip and a great activity to do with friends in a safe, socially distant manner. 

[This database is helping me expand my music taste]
3. ACTNow: Far From The Norm and TL Collective

Two dance companies will be presenting short films on Oct. 27 over Vimeo. Far From The Norm’s CAN’T KILL US ALL combines hip-hop and film to tell the story of a man dealing with two global pandemics. TL Collective’s Tough Skin aims to be a visual representation of what it’s like to stay connected even in the worst circumstances. This combination of dance and film activism looks like a fascinating performance to tune into.

4. Homecoming Comedy Show

SEE is presenting this year’s Homecoming Comedy Show with Hasan Minhaj on Oct. 29. I loved his show Patriot Act, and he’s simply a really funny guy. If you’re a student, tickets are free. It’s nice that SEE is still getting big names for events in our current virtual world.

5. Group Fitness Class 

Even during the pandemic, group fitness classes are still going on through RecWell. Personally, I love the Cycle 45 class in the public health school. I also really enjoy some of the yoga and Bodypump classes. The fall schedule has a ton of different options. You have to wear a mask, but they are still the fun and upbeat classes I remember. 

[Here’s what to watch if you’re missing ‘American Horror Story’]

6. Hollywood Gateway Park 

Last week, the Hollywood Gateway Park finally opened on Baltimore Avenue. This isn’t exactly on the campus, but it’s within walking distance. It’s a peaceful place to walk, study, picnic or do whatever else your heart desires. The outdoor park has a beautiful pavilion and bamboo chimes. Amid the craziness of College Park, it’s the perfect refuge.