The pandemic and all of the changes it has brought about have affected all of us in different ways. The transition to virtual learning has been received in a range of different ways. I think it’s safe to say that those of us who thoroughly enjoyed being physically present and a part of campus life took it the hardest. As an introvert with social tendencies, I experienced a mix of emotions; while being separated from my friends so abruptly was devastating, the idea of satisfying my attendance requirements from the privacy of my home was music to my ears. However, it does get problematic when isolation becomes the only option. This is an introvert’s guide to staying connected on a virtual campus.
- Join new organizations, even virtually
“If we’re not on campus, what’s the point?”, some may ask, and this is a relevant and rightful question. Virtual participation in a campus organization will never be in the same lane in terms of intimacy. However, joining a new organization during the age of remote learning is a great way to meet new people that you would have never otherwise been granted the opportunity to meet. Also, joining a zoom meeting with people you don’t know will never be as nerve wracking as walking into a room with unfamiliar faces. Take advantage of being able to embark on new journeys, with complete free will to simply ‘exit chat,’ should it not align with your interests!
- Engage in group chats
Whether they’re for class, or just to network, engaging in group chats are a great way to stay in touch at your leisure. As an introvert, it’s likely you’re not up for constant communication, and it’s rare that group chats consist of ongoing conversations. Typically, group chats are used as needed, and known to be something that can be participated in at one’s free will, so feel free to pop in whenever you have the energy or time. The best thing about group chats? The pressure on your response to keep the conversation going decreases immensely. Being able to pop in and out of conversations based on leisure and comfortability is an introvert’s dream, as you know.
- Independent activities, together
It’s no secret that introverts love their solitude and cringe at collaborative work that can be easily done alone. However, I think involving your estranged college friends to join in on independently completed activities such as creating vision boards, watching movies, journaling and creative challenges, homework, and even sharing and trying new recipes can be beneficial. For those of us that are more reserved, the ability to be alone together with friends is essential, and transitioning that dynamic from physical to virtual is essential to maintain those relationships. Remember that independent activities can always be done in conjunction with somebody, and coming together and sharing your creative findings, thoughts, and feelings can be a nice, organic way to deepen relationships as well as a happy medium between being social, and being alone.