Over the last six months, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives dramatically. When we first left campus halfway through last semester, almost none of us had foreseen this fall semester being conducted entirely remotely as well. Being away from LMU and unable to hang out with other students is isolating to say the least. However, involvement in campus activities doesn’t have to end just because of the physical distance! Here are some tips on how to stay connected, virtually.
1. Explore involvement opportunities online
The internet is our number one tool for communication these days, so use it to your advantage! Through LEO on MyLMU, you can see all the student organizations, and request to join their email lists. You can also find student organizations to follow through social media such as Instagram. This way, you can get more involved in organizations you’re already a part of, and learn more about new ones. Galen Berger, a sophomore film and television studies major and new writer for LMU’s HerCampus chapter, has found this especially helpful. “I have been looking around on social media to get a feel for activities and clubs I would enjoy that are still able to connect virtually,” Berger says.
2. Join some new clubs!
Just because you can’t drop by an in-person info session doesn’t mean you can’t become a new member. Since many of us have more down time being off campus, now is the chance to pick up a new activity. It’s also a great way to make new friends and feel more connected to the LMU community. Chloe Rodgers, a sophomore film and television production major, has enjoyed her time as a member of LMU’s Disney Club. She’s found it “easy to stay connected” through the interactive virtual meetings and has “already found a few friends there.”
3. Get back into the swing of things.
During this unconventional time, you may have found it harder to motivate yourself to attend online meetings versus the in-person ones we dream about going back to. This is totally normal! However, if you’re looking for an extra push, marking your calendar and planning your day with your Zoom calls will help you get excited about your next club meeting. Whether you handwrite it in a planner or enter it into the calendar on your phone, this extra structure can help you feel less overwhelmed. Just remember it’s ok to not be at 100% all the time, and you should always take breaks when you need them.
4. Stay positive!
This time has been difficult and unpredictable for everyone. However, that hasn’t stopped LMU’s student organizations from going above and beyond for their members. KASA, LMU’s Korean American Student Association, has come up with creative approaches to stay connected, such as inviting a popular Korean-American YouTuber as a guest speaker to a club meeting, and sending themed care packages to members. According to KASA’s executive board “there are indeed a lot of obstacles but none of that can really stop us from staying involved on campus.” Having a positive attitude and coming up with creative new ideas keeps us all engaged.
Entering a new semester virtually amidst a pandemic has been daunting to say the least. However, just because we’re not on the bluff doesn’t mean we have to let go of our favorite campus activities. By maintaining involvement in student organizations virtually, you can still feel connected to the LMU community!