Try to avoid participating from a completely empty room in a Zoom meeting. Objects like bookshelves help the quality of your voice and alleviate echo. 

Feel as if you’re going “quarantine crazy” yet? With many of us Hokies being trapped inside due to the many social restrictions in place, one might be finding themself in a state of pure boredom by now. While we may be limited in how we can interact with each other due to social distancing, that doesn’t mean we have to bore ourselves while we wait on things to get better. One of the best ways to keep yourself from going stir crazy during this pandemic is to get on Zoom and host a kickback — the perfect way to party with your friends from afar. 

To set up a Zoom kickback, mock-up an invite to send out to your friends. Use Snapchat’s photo editing features or some other image-altering app to create a cool flyer to announce the details of the kickback. Include info on when it’s being held, what time it starts and ends, and any other supporting info you feel is necessary. 

For those who want to test out your creativity, maybe look into having a theme for your party. Encourage guests to dress up for the occasion or include info in the invite on what they should wear and what they should expect with the theme. Make sure to keep it simple so that everyone can participate without having to struggle to figure out how they can fit the theme’s expectations.

While having many friends in on the occasion sounds fun, it can be difficult to host a large number of people, as talking over one another can be problematic. For best results, invite around 10-15 of your friends, but even small kickbacks of around five people are fun, too. 

As for how to keep yourself entertained at a Zoom kickback, there are many fun options to consider. Mixing things up with party games really helps keep the conversations going. Games like Quiplash and Jackbox can be great at keeping guests involved in the fun for rounds on end. For those looking for something on the wild side, drinking games like Picolo and Power Hour are some of the better options out there to make your kickback a movie. 

“I use Zoom to hang out with my fraternity brothers — kind of miss playing flip cup in real life, though,” said Rafael Arbex-Murut, a junior studying computer science. 

Beyond games, there are other ways to make a Zoom kickback interesting. For those who have friends within their academic major, take time to set up a study kickback before your next big test or quiz. Looking to just catch up with friends? Plan out a time for you all to get on Zoom and talk about what’s going on in your personal lives right now; maybe even talk of plans for life after this pandemic ends. 

While it seems that we may be in this pandemic for a bit longer than we’d like to, that doesn’t mean that we should Netflix and nap our way through it all. Socializing with friends even with the hassle of social distancing in place is still doable. We just have to be a bit more creative. Zoom is the perfect platform for getting your friend group together for some quality time in this quarantine, so make the best of this time we’re all going through and kickback.

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