Due to what seems like the never-ending pandemic of COVID-19, Manhattan College has decided to approach the fall semester of 2020 in a hybrid format. For some lucky students, this can mean that all of their classes are still in person, but for others, this may not be the case. While going remote has its benefits, like sleeping in a little extra and taking a class in your pj’s, it might not be the ideal situation for your social life.
You might be wondering- “How the hell am I supposed to get involved and make friends?” I know, I was wondering that too. But it might not be as hard as you think. There are tons of ways to connect with people virtually, especially with all of the technology we have. Here are some ways you can make sure your virtual semester is as socially fulfilling as it can be!
We live in a world where social media is one of the most popular sources of virtual communication. Use it! At Manhattan College, we have the luxury of seeing the names of our classmates through Moodle. When you begin your online classes, send someone from your class a request on Instagram! Don’t be afraid to slide into the DMs either. You’d be shocked at how many friendships I’ve started by sending a quick dm that says “Hey! You’re in my psych class, right? Did you understand anything the professor was saying today?” 99 percent of the time this will lead you to having a friend in class, maybe even a study buddy!
Join a club!
You might not love the idea of joining a club with Zoom meets, but you have to start somewhere. Clubs won’t be virtual forever, but while they are you have the opportunity to join as many as you can. You won’t have to worry about running to different locations for meetings, that’s the beauty of links! I’ve personally found some of my best friends from the clubs I’ve been in. It might take a little extra work to make friends, but this ties back to social media! Send a member of your club a dm about your last virtual meeting and see where the conversation takes you.
Plan an in-person hangout (or a virtual one).
Not all students will be able to live on campus this semester, but there are still options to meet up with your friends! If you’re living on campus this semester, and your new class/club friends also do, plan to meet! Whether you’re meeting to study, to eat, or just to chat there are tons of locations on campus to hang out while staying socially distant and following COVID guidelines. Places like Kelly Commons and some residence halls have lounge areas that have been modified to accommodate students that want to maintain their social life while also staying safe and healthy. If the weather’s nice you can hang out on the quad or even on the Smith stairs to enjoy the beauty of the campus!
If you don’t live on campus, or anywhere near it, you have the option of having virtual hangouts! Apps like FaceTime and Google Meet are great ways to stay close while being far away. There’s even an app called HouseParty that has games for you and your friends to play while communicating in a FaceTime style.
Take advantage of virtual meets MC has to offer!
Manhattan College usually hosts tons of different people to the school for information sessions. These people usually give talks based on various career paths and give a lot of insight into the real world. These talks are a great way to connect with potential future employers and to meet new people who share the same job interests as you. Showing your face, even virtually, is a good way to put yourself out there!
Making new connections this semester isn’t going to be easy, but it will definitely still be possible. Don’t worry if you’re not making friends as fast as you’d like to. Making friends takes time as it is, and doing it virtually will take more effort for sure. Take time to get used to this new reality and keep trying until something clicks (literally)!
Our new virtual reality may not be the most ideal, but we have to remind ourselves that everyone is in the same boat! You aren’t as alone as you think you are. It might take some awkward conversations, failed Zoom calls, and a whole lot of patience, however, making your virtual semester the best it can be is still possible. It’s not necessarily going to be easy but a lifetime of friendships is definitely worth the effort. Stay safe Jaspers and wear a mask!