Exploring San Antonio as off-campus life takes center stage

How the shift to college life and lifted restrictions have changed going-out culture


Andrew Duong

Bombay Bicycle Club

With heavy COVID restrictions becoming a thing of the past, the St. Mary’s St. sidewalks are again filled with students making their way to Bombay Bicycle Club on Thursdays, a day more infamously referred to as “Thursbays.”

Going out is a large part of the college lifestyle. At any given time on a weekend or a Thursday night, students gather to head to a bar, party or hit up the newest sushi spot near campus. These experiences, however, have been altered by the pandemic and its restrictive mandates. Juliana Aviles, senior sociology major and French minor, has experienced Trinity as a student before, during and after the lockdown.

“Freshman year, pre-COVID, we would go out to restaurants all the time and that was our way of getting off-campus and exploring San Antonio,” Aviles said. “I honestly went off-campus pretty frequently as a freshman just because I wanted to explore the city. I was very much the type of person that couldn’t just stay on campus all the time because it got boring.”

For some, changes to going-out culture have outlasted pandemic restrictions and have even become the new standard.

“My friends and I really got into the habit of picking up food during COVID to avoid as much contact as possible, so some of that has definitely stuck with me and I still often get takeout with friends,” Aviles said.

Despite these changes, Aviles and other students in a similar situation, have readjusted to college life outside of the lockdown and have moved towards more interaction-heavy outings. Montserrat Waissman, first-year psychology major and political science minor, reflected on how her lifestyle has changed since COVID.

“Since the lockdown and my move to Trinity, I’ve loved getting an intimate dinner with friends and following that up with going to a club,” Waissman said. “I like doing this because it’s a good mixture of intimacy and liveliness. I just love being in a crowd and forgetting my responsibilities.”

Students are also beginning to take advantage of opportunities that they had taken for granted prior to the COVID pandemic.

“My going-out habits changed a lot after COVID. Not only was it safer and more responsible to go out, but more fun. There was an almost liberating feeling to it, especially after being cooped up for so long,” Waissman said.

In addition to changes brought on by the lifting of the lockdown, students are taking advantage of the freedoms provided to them by the switch from high school to college. Sofia Zavala, first-year neuroscience major and Spanish minor, considers how her perspective on social gatherings has changed since moving into the dorms.

“I stay out longer now than I ever did in high school just because I don’t have a curfew. Before it was more of a chore to go out in public and be with people, but now it’s something I look forward to, and that’s probably why I’ve been going out more,” Zavala said.

Although college life has brought on new opportunities and later bedtimes, the change in workload has made a consistent going-out routine harder to keep up with.

“[It is] definitely more dependent on my workload. There will be times when I don’t go out for multiple weekends and others where I go out on total ragers. There is more freedom and I have no one to answer to except myself, and I’ve really enjoyed that,” Waissman said.

Having the freedom to create your own schedule and go out on your own was heavily limited by the pandemic, and adjustments to post-lockdown life are still taking place in all aspects of university life.

“Although COVID cut a good part of my Trinity experience short, I try to make the most of it by going out when I can and appreciating the time I have with my friends here,” Aviles said. “It has made me appreciate them more, and appreciate spending time with people I love.”