Dorm Walks Provide Fresh Air for Students and Faculty Amidst Covid-19 Restrictions

Andover’s staggered returns of Cohorts One and Two have resulted in tight restrictions to ensure the safety of those on campus. Through these difficulties, dorms have been incorporating activities such as dorm walks to stay connected.

According to Natasha Muromcew ’22, her dorm’s quarantine has made going out on simple walks much more meaningful.

“In the past, we’ve done things like wandering walks at the beginning of the year, which helps introduce new students to the campus and to the other students. This year, dorm walks are more special because most people spend their entire day in their dorm room, which is very depressing. The dorm walks are a chance to get outside and spend some time with friends to get fresh air,” said Muromcew.

According to Nathan Hale house counselor Issraa Faiz ’15, it has been great seeing the students get outside to connect and familiarize themselves with campus.

“The students seem to really enjoy [the dorm walks], they’ve been asking us to do them as much as possible… Yesterday, I think we walked a total of eight miles together, and they were so happy the whole time. So, I feel like it’s been nice in the sense that you get to appreciate being outside and maybe you appreciate things you wouldn’t have appreciated to the same degree before… Dorm walks have been the way they’ve been able to get out, the way they’ve been able to bond with each other and get to know the house counseling staff, so they’ve definitely played a big role in how they’re surviving quarantine,” said Faiz.

Dorm walks are a safe way to keep students healthy and moving while in quarantine, according to Nathan Hale complement house counselor Sara Parker.

“The dorm walks have really allowed students to stay safe and six feet apart and outside while talking to other girls in the dorm. The first time we did it, it was more like a dorm and campus tour, and we were showing the new students the campus. There were some returning students and it was just so exciting for them to walk around…reminiscing and showing the new students their old dorm rooms, and just like a really good energy and kind of excitement while staying six feet apart. You know, fresh air time and just anything being outside is how these girls are kind of getting to know each other,” said Parker.

Even though cold weather might disincentivize students from spending time outside, the dorms likely plan to continue hosting walks, according to Muromcew and Faiz. 

“A lot less people will want to come [on the dorm walks] when it’s colder, and I get the feeling we’re going to be less inclined to want to do them at all, but I think they’ll probably still happen because it’s important to be outside for some part of the day,” said Muromcew.

“We’ll probably encourage people to bundle up and make them shorter than usual, but I think they’re important to be able to get out as much as possible. Everyone is well equipped for the weather, and there hasn’t been any complaining about fall weather, so fingers crossed it stays as warm as possible for as long as possible before the winter really hits,” said Faiz.