How to Stay Involved in QUEST & the Community this Fall

First of all, happy fall! I hope this season brings you an abundance of pumpkin spice lattes, ridiculous numbers of plaid shirts, and your favorite comfort foods as the leaves turn above us. 

Every change of the seasons, I like to take a step back and reflect a bit–a little personal check in, just to keep myself running on the right track. I ask myself how I’m doing, what I’m doing, why I’m doing what I’m doing the way I’m doing it (wow, that’s a mouthful), and use this as a time to run some maintenance on an (ideally) well-oiled machine. For me, a huge part of that is staying social and involved with the community while stepping away from my work or catching up with friends and family. While these things won’t be as easy as they normally are this fall, there are a ton of opportunities to stay involved and social remotely or while social distancing–here are five of my favorites!

Check out the TWIQ! 

If the TWIQ (This Week in QUEST) newsletter isn’t already on your radar, this awesome Monday afternoon publication is a must-read! Perfect to check out between classes or following an afternoon siesta, the TWIQ is filled to the brim with opportunities for students including news in QUEST, job & internship opportunities, and other relevant opportunities all over the Maryland campus. Crack open your email to find the latest issue–you might just find your next great career step there too!

Wondering what your fellow QUESTees are up to? Check out the QUEST Instagram!

If you like spending time on social media, this one might be for you! This fall will be full of takeovers by QUEST students and alumni; Meet Cohort 35’s Jules Parra in her recent takeover on the QUEST Instagram page! She shares her BMGT190H team’s logo debut, insight on her work with Technica and her recent trip to Ecuador with the Science, experience in the Technology and Society Scholars Program, and more. Keep an eye out for new posts throughout the semester and if you’re interested in taking over the QUEST Instagram, sign up here!

Catch Up with the Quality Guild!

Chat with Dr. Bailey, Dr. Armstrong, Jess, or Rachel no matter where you are! Their office hours are posted in the TWIQ each week, and with the semester underway, they’re open to supporting students in the QUEST community. If you’re on campus and comfortable attending in-person classes, drop by and say hello to the professors while adhering to the 4Maryland Rules and Regulations. 

Cure that Cabin Fever!

Getting outside is a great way to de-stress, and there are plenty of awesome places to visit near and far from College Park. Andrew McNeil from Cohort 33 is the expert here–an avid climber, he’s scouted out some of the best hiking, climbing, and general outdoors spots in the DMV. Some of his top picks include Harper’s Ferry in West Virginia (pictured here) and Great Falls Park near McLean, Virginia, which is about 40 minutes away by car. Some other great spots include Kilgore Falls in Baltimore, MD and Catoctin Mountain Park in Western Maryland. This is the tail end of apple picking season, and peak time of year for pumpkin picking. Both are great ways to enjoy the season, get some fresh air, and support local farmers.

On campus? Here are a couple of College Park ideas too:

Social Distance with Some Fellow QUEST Students on McKeldin

Pull a seat up (or away) and take a load off! McKeldin Mall is beautiful as the weather turns, and the newly placed turtle-shell sections give Terps a safe way to distance themselves while hanging out. Doing homework on McKeldin is a great way to get some fresh air while still pushing through workloads. Set up a hammock and catch some Z’s or bring a blanket for the perfect afternoon lunch!

Support Local Business

Small businesses across the country are looking for support, and the same is true right here in College Park. Looking for a bite to eat? Considering a new haircut? Most businesses in the city are ready to safely serve customers; click the link here for information provided by the city of College Park & businesses all over CP, with some including codes for free deliveries and discounts!

Whether near or far, QUEST is so much more than what’s just in College Park. The good times and memories don’t have to sit still while we’re away from campus; don’t hesitate to reach out to your classmates, form study groups, and stay engaged with QUEST student orgs! Stay safe, take care, and good luck through the fall!

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