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Millennials Connect Via Social Media Challenges During COVID-19

(Courtesy of @pahouaxiong_ via Instagram)
(Courtesy of @pahouaxiong_ via Instagram)

Bingo is back, this time among millennials and Gen Zers.

To stave off boredom caused by the coronavirus quarantine and connect with others, millions of global millennials and Gen Zers are issuing challenges to each other on social media.

Challenges have gotten so popular that social media giant Instagram added a “challenge” story sticker to make it easier for users to create their own or nominate others.

Challenges and tags flooding social media range from drawing random oranges and tagging friends, to perfecting 15-second dances on TikTok to keep people busy, connected and entertained.

Here are some of the biggest social media trends and challenges that have gone viral.

Bingo

People are making bingos about everything, whether it’s a university, zodiac sign or ethnicity. Bingo questions usually follow a “never have I ever” format that users cross off until they eliminate all the spaces on a card to make bingo. Users tag friends and post to their social media. This classic game -- which started in the 1500s in Italy -- has been sweeping social media sites and bonding friends over shared interests and activities.

TikTok dance challenges

The video-sharing social media app TikTok has dominated the social media charts with an increase in the number of downloads since the coronavirus pandemic. A popular trend among young people is learning TikTok dances, usually 15-second choreographies around a popular song.

Celebrities and social media influencers are among users practicing dances and posting their finished product online. Some are getting family members to dance, too.

In GIFs tag

Introducing oneself or one’s interests through GIFs is another popular trend on Instagram. The template comes in several formats, such as “this or that” or “my favorite things.” Once tagged, users post GIF stickers on Instagram and tag others.

Dalgona coffee challenge

Dalgona, also known as ppopgi, is candy from South Korea. Made of sugar, corn syrup and baking soda, dalgona has been a popular street food snack for children since the 1960s.

Fast forward to 2020, the Dalgona coffee challenge has gained attention across the world: make whipped coffee with equal ratios of sugar, instant coffee and boiling water. While it may sound easy, it can be quite the arm workout because the Dalgona cream has to be whipped for quite a long time to get it foamy.

Song challenges

Users share their favorite songs and grow their playlist, using cues for users to post their favorite song around a specific theme or topic.

(Courtesy of @eggtaurus via Instagram)
(Courtesy of @eggtaurus via Instagram)

Workout challenges

The rules are simple: Film yourself doing 10 or more pushups and tag as many people as you want to challenge them to do the same. The first was the #see10do10 pushup challenge.

Workout challenges include the plank challenge, the 100 skipping challenge and the flex challenge. With everyone being stuck at home during quarantine, these workout challenges have motivated people to keep moving while at home.

Until tomorrow challenge

The Until Tomorrow challenges users to post funny, embarrassing or awkward photos of themselves on their Instagram feed for 24 hours. (Users are automatically tagged when they tag a photo with the hashtag #untiltomorrow.)

(Courtesy of Madeline Joung)
(Courtesy of Madeline Joung)

Drawing challenge

Users draw digital paintings of random objects on Instagram and tag their friends to continue the chain.

Toilet paper challenge

This challenge is popular among pet owners, seeing how many stacks of toilet paper a pet can jump over, leaping over several stacks or sometimes crashing through a wall of toilet paper.

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Experts: US will have nearly 2 million international students by 2034

FILE - People line up outside McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus, Jan. 12, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz.
FILE - People line up outside McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus, Jan. 12, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz.

Experts predict the U.S. will enroll nearly 1.8 million international students by 2034, ICEF Monitor reports.

Most of the students will hail from India, along with China, Vietnam, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Nepal, Brazil and Mexico, the analysis says.

Read the story here. (May 2024)

UCLA gets its first international student undergraduate council president

FILE - The UCLA campus on April 25, 2019.
FILE - The UCLA campus on April 25, 2019.

An international student will lead the Undergraduate Students Association Council at UCLA for the first time.

Adam Tfayli, who is from Lebanon, won the presidential race, beating out five other candidates.

Student newspaper the Daily Bruin has the story here. (May 2024)

Examining the facts behind US international student boom

FILE - Students listen during commencement in Harvard Yard, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., May 23, 2024.
FILE - Students listen during commencement in Harvard Yard, at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass., May 23, 2024.

The U.S. international student population is booming.

The Chicago Tribune takes a look at the trend and what it means for colleges. Read the story here. (May 2024)

Howard University cuts ties with Sean 'Diddy' Combs after video of attack on ex-girlfriend

FILE - Entertainer and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs delivers Howard University's commencement speech during the school's 2014 graduation ceremony in Washington, May 10, 2014. Howard University has announced it is cutting its ties to Combs.
FILE - Entertainer and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs delivers Howard University's commencement speech during the school's 2014 graduation ceremony in Washington, May 10, 2014. Howard University has announced it is cutting its ties to Combs.

Howard University is cutting ties to Sean "Diddy" Combs, rescinding an honorary degree that was awarded to him and disbanding a scholarship program in his name, after a recently released 2016 video that appeared to show him attacking the R&B singer Cassie.

"Mr. Combs' behavior as captured in a recently released video is so fundamentally incompatible with Howard University's core values and beliefs that he is deemed no longer worthy to hold the institution's highest honor," a statement from the university's Board of Trustees said.

The statement said the board voted unanimously Friday to accept the return of the honorary degree Combs received in 2014. "This acceptance revokes all honors and privileges associated with the degree. Accordingly, the Board has directed that his name be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients of Howard University," it said.

The board also directed university administrators to cut financial ties to Combs, including returning a $1 million contribution, ending the scholarship program and dissolving a 2023 pledge agreement with the Sean Combs Foundation.

An email seeking comment was sent to a Combs spokesperson by The Associated Press on Saturday.

Combs admitted last month that he beat his ex-girlfriend Cassie in a hotel hallway in 2016 after CNN released video of the attack. In a video statement posted on social media, he said he was "truly sorry," and his actions were "inexcusable."

"I take full responsibility for my actions in that video. I was disgusted then when I did it. I'm disgusted now," Combs said.

A lawsuit filed last year by Cassie, whose legal name is Cassandra Ventura, set off a wave of similar cases and public allegations against Combs. That lawsuit was settled.

Billionaire gives graduates cash, but asks them to give, too

In this photo provided by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, billionaire Robert Hale speaks at the graduation ceremony May 16, 2024, in Dartmouth, Mass. Hale gifted graduates at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth each with $1,000, but he asked them to donate $500.
In this photo provided by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, billionaire Robert Hale speaks at the graduation ceremony May 16, 2024, in Dartmouth, Mass. Hale gifted graduates at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth each with $1,000, but he asked them to donate $500.

During a recent graduation ceremony at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, a Boston billionaire gave each member of the graduating class $1,000.

As Jenna Russell reports in The New York Times, the gift came with a catch: The philanthropist asked the students to give half the money to any good cause. (May 2024)

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