Many students may be confused or angered by the changes COVID-19 has brought upon their college lifestyle. Especially new students, many of whom are entering into a novel environment with expectations that differ greatly from reality. Here at the Office of Health Advancement, we look to improve student life within the boundaries of healthy living. As such, here is a list of options for students, living either off-campus or in the dorms, that we believe should be safe and fun.

Board Games – Board and/or card games are very fun activities that coincidentally allow for small gatherings of people. Most range from 2-6 people and if all players wear a mask and sanitize, they can be a great outlet. Additionally, if you do not have a certain board game, there are many similar options available in the App or Google Play Stores that can work as a substitute. With these options, students could avoid the hand-to-hand contact and still play the game as normal. Some examples could be Among Us (Mafia-style game), Heads Up (similar to Headbands), Evil Apples (like Cards Against Humanity), or if you have an iPhone, Game Pigeon has several multiplayer options.

Outside Activities – There are many options for outdoor activities that can be safely engaged in during COVID-19. For example, you can play frisbee, soccer, cornhole, or bocce ball. While the weather is still nice, you can go to Bozeman Beach for a swim or explore the large variety of hikes available. ASMSU also has the Outdoor Recreation Program, which offers rental equipment for outdoor activities like fishing, camping, rock climbing, kayaking, and mountain biking at very affordable and inexpensive prices!

Video Games – Montana State has a video gaming club on campus and many students are involved in it. They play competitive games like League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and others. Additionally, MSU sometimes plays competitive matches against other universities as a part of the club. Just remember to take breaks occasionally in order to rest your eyes and refresh. You could also even invite some of the people you are playing with to go out and eat after you finish gaming.

Yoga – Yoga may not traditionally be thought of as fun, but it can be very enjoyable for anyone. There are many, and I mean many, yoga tutorials available online for you to access for free. These can be stretches, workouts, or both and will leave you feeling good afterwards.

Biking – If you do not have a fancy mountain bike, there are cheap bikes available at second-hand stores around town. With a bike, you can travel to locations around town while getting a workout in the process. Bike racks can be found all around campus and your bike could even become a transportation method if you live off-campus. The Outdoor Recreation Program mentioned above also offers bike rentals, commuter and mountain bikes, which could help if you don’t have a personal bike.

Learn Something New – Learning something new can be very exciting. The process of learning initially may be a little tricky, but that stress is good for you. Studies have shown that bilingual individuals are less likely to develop dementia at an early age when compared to other people. This same benefit also applies to individuals who actively seek out unique mental challenges and is why we recommend learning something new. The new thing could be a language, but it could also be something random like fly-fishing. There really is no restriction on what you could choose to do with your time, just make sure that you are learning something different from what you already know because that is how your brain benefits. Keep you eyes open and you can learn all sorts of things such as new recipes, dances, riddles, or even building projects!

We have listed several options here for fun but feel free to try other things you may be thinking of to pass the time that don’t involve drugs and alcohol. If you have any ideas of your own that you believe may be helpful feel free to let us know!

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