DISREGUARDIAN: A Guide on How to Maintain Strong Social Connections During a Panera Bread

Editor’s note: The following is a satirical article for The DisreGuardian, which are a series of articles published annually for The Guardian’s April Fool’s issue. Opinion will resume publishing normal content next week.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of the panoramic, many individuals decided to go out and celebrate with their friends, with respect to Covid-19 obviously. However, for many, the feeling of social ineptness has taken over as the effects of quarantine have taken a toll on their socialization capabilities. While I think we have all managed to maintain our strong social skills during these unprecedented times, here are some ways to keep the conversation going even if it’s heading nowhere, as well as some tips to maintain a healthy state of mind. 

Conversation Starters:

  1. Talk about Covid

This option is never exhausted because there is always something to talk about. With the vaccine coming out, there is also an added layer to the stimulating conversation. This global Panda Express has already taken over so much of our lives, so why not talk about it even more? After all, some people do forget about it sometimes, especially our friends in Texas and Florida. Maybe they’ll appreciate a little reminder. 

  1. School never fails

This conversation topic works wonders in breakout rooms. As college students, we have plenty of things to complain about, and we’ve gotten really good at it too. After all, we’ve been complaining about the same things since the beginning of quarantine. It feels nice to get all the frustration out into the open while simultaneously wondering if the person you’re venting to will rat you out for violating the academic integrity policy that everyone definitely follows. After this brief exchange of words, you guys can just sit in awkward silence waiting for the breakout room to close, the classic way to end a conversation during Zoom University. 

Lifestyle Tips:

  1. Look at the bright side of things

Now that social interactions have gone down, so has unnecessary drama. Doesn’t it feel relieving knowing that annoying and unproductive drama has gone down tremendously during quarantine? Then again, what do we talk about now that we cannot secretly judge other people’s life decisions with our friend group that has a skewed perspective of the actual situation? Weird. At least we have Cancel Culture to keep us updated on who to send unproductive hate comments to and who to hypocritically excuse for their obviously toxic and concerning behavior. Tony Lopez still has 22.5 million followers, by the way.

  1. Download a dating app (or three)

Feeling lonely, ugly, and unlovable? By downloading a dating app, you are not only exacerbating these issues but also opening yourself up to a whole other world of insecurities. But that doesn’t matter, because the momentary validation you get from that random stranger you will probably never meet in real life is enough to convince you to keep it. Those borderline predatorial and superficial conversations you have will temporarily fill the void the panini has created in your soul until you finally realize your self-worth and delete them, only to redownload them again when you reached another all-time low at 3 a.m. while listening to “Drivers License” by our queen, Olivia Rodrigo. Anyways, stream “Deja Vu”. 

  1. Gaslight yourself into feeling a sense of normalcy 

You don’t feel lonely. Your feelings aren’t valid. Everyone is going through this, why do you get to make it all about you and your feelings when people are literally dying, businesses are going bankrupt, and the world is falling apart? It’s selfish and you have fewer problems than everyone else. All your friends hate you for it and you should seriously consider being less self-centered. 

Remember to practice self-love this pandora season!

Art by Angela Liang for the UC San Diego Guardian.