The sudden transition from physical classrooms to online schools has made it difficult for most students. Not being able to see friends every day has created a sense of loneliness. Education is not only about studying books. Spending meaningful time with friends is also a part of education. Maintaining virtual relationships with friends is a challenging task. Let’s identify some practical ways to keep in touch with friends during these hard times.

Study with your friends virtually

Discuss the school work and lessons with your friends. Set up a time to meet up over video calls and join everyone available at the time. It will not only help get your work done but also allow you to chat leisurely. Since you are connecting with your friends for something important, there will be no restrictions from parents as well.

Participate in online group discussions

You can also chat with your friends during online classes regarding the subject matter, as you often do in physical classrooms. However, make sure not to violate the rules and regulations of your online session or disturb the lesson. Talk to your friends about the preparation for the lesson prior to the class. Replicate the way you would contact and talk to your friends if it was your college setting.

Hang out virtually on social media

Since humans are sociable by nature, they cannot live alone without having mental issues. Hanging out with peers is not a bad thing if you are not engaging in unethical activities. Connect with your friends online and hang out virtually. Social media is a good place to keep your friends updated with events in your life and see theirs. Make social media accounts on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok. Follow your friends and comment on their activities. Construct conversations with them to make a real connection with all your friends.

Text your friends throughout the day

With the various texting applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram, you can easily text your friends at any time. Send them a few texts throughout the day to ask how they are doing. It will make you feel closer with your friends as you connect with them for most time of the day. You can even make groups by adding your friends so that everyone can chat at the same time. But make sure to take a break from the phone when doing studies as you need to focus on the work.

Schedule regular online calls

Video calling is a great way to see and talk with your friends. Face timing with your friends helps reduce stress and anxiety caused by not seeing them for long. Schedule video meetings when all the friends are available so that you can check on everyone at once. Don’t leave anyone behind, make everyone feel better. You can use various platforms such as Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom for this.

Exchange letters on the mail

Although it may sound a little old-fashioned, getting something in the mail is fun. Get your friends’ addresses and post a letter right away. They would be thrilled to receive a note or postcard. You can even exchange little gifts on special days through the post. Having a penfriend would be exciting especially when everyone’s stuck at home.

Play online games

Online gaming would often be a nightmare for parents. But it doesn’t need to be so always if you are doing college work well. Spend some time gaming online to connect with your friends. It doesn’t need to be a daily task as everyone needs to focus on studies and personal work. Try out a few online multiplayer games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, and card games.

Create a group playlist

Sharing music is another great way to connect with your friends. You would do the same if you could meet up at college or campus. So why not try it out virtually? Make a playlist where all the friends in your group can add songs. Update it every few weeks to see what everyone is interested in. Collaborative playlists can be made on Spotify and Apple Music.

Meet up on the weekend, if possible

How much ever you connect online, it wouldn’t feel the same as seeing them and meeting for real. If your friends are willing to follow the right safety measures to protect their health, you can arrange to meet them once in a while on the weekends. Make sure to ask everyone to follow the social guidelines such as wearing masks in public and keeping a 2m distance. Simply sitting and chatting with each other would make you feel a lot better after all the time spent alone at home. This is the best way to restore your mental health and avoid feeling isolated.

How to Make Friends as a New Online College Student

Sometimes, if you are joining a new campus or online course online, making friends in the new environment would be very challenging. This is a totally different task from seeing and talking to new people in physical classrooms. Therefore, here are some tips you can use to make new friends or even help a new person who recently joined your class.

  • Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Just pick up a simple reason to talk with someone in your class. Send them a message or ask for their contact number during the class. Try to talk to one person at a time and continue until you are connected with most of the students in your class.

  • Depending on the personal behavior of the people in your class, you may not be successful in the first go. But don’t give up, keep trying to make new friends. Show up in different events until you are no longer a newbie.

  • Taking the lead will draw the attention of many students in your class. If you need new friends, the best option is to make them yourself. They will see you as a reliable person and not fear contacting you for different events. Don’t be picky, just talk well with everyone and get to know them better. Always, don’t judge a book by its cover such as from the way their social media accounts appear.

  • It can be challenging to talk to new people especially if you are introverted. But sadly, there is no way around it and you need to cope with it somehow.

  • Show that you care for them and make a real effort to get to know the person well. This is the best way to win their care back and you can always assume that they too care for you.

Read more on this article: SUPPORT FOR ONLINE LEARNING

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