Flyby Presents: Best Zoom Backgrounds

By Margot E. Shang

It’s hard to imagine how we would be navigating school without the incredible power of technology. Zoom sessions allow us to attend lectures from anywhere in the world, so why not explore the possibilities? Why limit yourself to your messy bedroom with your stuffed animals or pile of laundry inconspicuously tucked away from the range of your webcam? Modern problems require modern solutions.

School in quarantine isn’t exactly the most exciting, but taking advantage of the virtual background feature on Zoom can still let you have some fun with it. Here are some suggestions that’ll make your Zoom classmates envious of your setup.

The Pink Wall from The Office

We’re all familiar with this iconic backdrop from The Office. This setting has witnessed countless confessions and monologues from our favorite workaholics, and now you can finally live out your dream as a working professional at a paper company. Not only will your peers take you seriously in this businesslike setting, but you’ll also be able to mask the fact that you’re still in bed at 3 p.m.

Your Old Dorm Room

Some of us would love to be in Hawaii or France right now. Some of us just want nothing more than to be back in our suites carrying on a normal semester at Harvard. That’s valid, and we hear you. Set your Zoom background to be a nostalgic photo of your old suite, complete with the unstable lamps and wooden bookshelf. You can pretend eviction week never happened. Coronavirus? What coronavirus? Haha! Can’t hear anything over the sound of the cars rumbling past JFK St.

A Photo of Your Professor

Put Section Kid in their place by making your background a blown up photo of the professor. This is the best way of demonstrating interest in the course and standing out from everyone else. Your professor will feel flattered, and it may even give them a boost of morale as they continue lecturing to a sea of muted, black boxes. Bonus points if you participate in class and force the professor to engage with you while making eye contact with their own face.


Just because you’re now an unwilling student of Zoom University doesn’t mean you have to stop flexing that you go to Harvard. We understand how debilitating it is to go more than ten minutes without bringing it up in some regard, so we’re looking out for you. Play around with Photoshop so that your face pops up in the square of an HUID backdrop — right on time for your 7:30 a.m. class.

Yale’s Campus

It’s no question that online classes can’t measure up to the experience of attending school on campus, so it’s only fair to represent how subpar the rest of this semester is visually. With Yale’s campus as your virtual background, you can truly capture the essence of attending a second-tier school. If any part of the Zoom lectures, spotty WiFi connection, or awkward silences when leaving a meeting leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you can attribute it to how Yalies must feel on a daily basis.

Virtual backgrounds are just one way to add a little positivity and fun to an experience that we are all still struggling to get used to. Although over-laying your video feed with a photo of a beach isn’t quite enough to emulate the freedom of walking around campus with your friends, we hope that these tips can add a spring to the 200 steps you take per day.

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