As COVID-19 has forced us all online, life has been crazy different. So while things are looking up and schools are starting to open back up for in-person classes, a lot of life might not go back to normal. For some of us normal will mean sticking with a blend of remote and in-person classes and for others, it might mean going completely remote and traveling the country at the same time. Whatever your dreams and future plans are, here are five ways to really connect with others as a remote student:
- Join clubs, sororities/fraternities, and student organizations.
A lot of the times we complain that we can’t find others who think, talk, or act like us, but we might just be looking in the wrong places! Classes are a great way to start when it comes to finding others who share your passions and interests, but when it comes to clubs and student organizations some students are much more open to socializing and meeting prospective friends than when focused in class or struggling with lecture content. So find some clubs that still host virtual meetings and test them out!
- Work on projects and homework with partners.
If you don’t have time to do the above or if you want to maximize your social life even more, there’s still a way to make the most of classes! And that’s with projects, homework, and assignments. You’ll get more out of it if you find a few people you like and consistently work with and meet them instead of jumping around to a new partner every new assignment, but it’s totally up to you!
- Join office hours and talk with the people there.
Especially if you’re in your earlier years of college which usually entail some huge 50+ people classes, office hours can actually be a great place to meet those very partners mentioned in step two. It’s also just awesome to not be alone when working through difficult problems.
- Call people and do fun activities instead of just talk.
COVID-19 has definitely brought about some of the most creative online ways to bond. There are verbal games, virtual escape rooms, personality quizzes, and much more to do during calls. Additionally, if both of you are willing to spend some money, feel free to go out and buy some supplies that would make your virtual time with each other even better! These can be anything from cake ingredients to bake together to beauty products to try out at the same time.
- Reach out to people you might not typically talk to.
And finally, I hope to remind you that one of the beauties of being location independent is that you can talk to many more people. We don’t think of this a lot but with everyone now virtual, really approach people you wouldn’t normally talk to! Whether you didn’t talk to them because they were halfway across the world or because you wanted to get to know them better before going full-on in-person, virtual meetups are a great way to ease into social interactions with someone.
All in all, being a remote student is definitely different from what the typical college experience used to look like pre-Covid, but it has its perks! It will probably take you some time to find your group of people, but I’m sure you will. Just remember to be a little easy on yourself as you do.