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4 Ways to Feel Less Lonely in Online Classes

Okay, I’ll say it — Zoom classes suck. We’re all doing our best to stay positive, keep our heads up and get through this, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard sometimes. One of the toughest parts of being out of the traditional classroom setting is the lack of community. Spending hours staring at a screen of black squares can feel super lonely. So while we’re waiting until it’s safe to get back to class, here are some easy ways to fight the loneliness in online classes.

use the chat
Top view of a woman working on her notebook

Maybe the loneliest thing about online classes is the silence. In a typical classroom, it’s easy to chat with people before class and jump in during discussions, but that chatter goes away when everyone is on mute. The solution? Use the Zoom chat! Chatting is a great way to interject comments and start conversations without disrupting the flow of class.

Team up for group projects
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It’s no secret that group projects can be a pain, but in the case of hybrid classes, they can actually be a fun way to connect with classmates. In big lectures, you might never get to talk to the others in your class. But a group project can be an opportunity to get to know each other and find common interests! Instead of phoning in group projects, it might be worthwhile to schedule a meeting and actually talk things over with your groupmates.

speak up in class
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If you’re someone who tends to stay quiet in class, online classes can be extra intimidating. However, every conversation starts somewhere! You’ll be surprised at how much more engaged and present you feel when you join in on the discussion.

keep your camera on

For those of us who are a little on the shy side, reaching out to classmates might be tough. But an even simpler way to feel more connected to your class is to turn your camera on. Knowing that your professor and peers can see you makes Zoom feel a little more like the familiar classroom setting we’re all used to. Plus, you might inspire others to turn their cameras on, too!

Elizabeth is a senior at Pitt majoring in English Writing and French. When she's not writing for hc, Elizabeth likes cooking, spending time with friends, and exploring Pittsburgh's cultural side.
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