Many college freshmen are out there right now wondering how they are supposed to make friends during COVID-19 when many classes are taking place online rather than in person.
This is called ‘blended learning’ and while it is going to keep faculty safe and stop the spread of the virus, it presents new challenges for all – especially those just starting out on their college journey. There are still ways to connect and make new friends, even when only seeing them every now and again, however – read on for some ideas.
Speak To Your Class Rep
It’s a good idea to start by speaking with your class representative. The class rep will organize events for the class throughout the year and bring any issues that the group is having to the student union. They are there throughout the year to support students, even if their role has changed a little due to the circumstances. They can organize events and help to guide everybody through the blended learning experience, so don’t hesitate to approach them with any concerns you may be having.
If you have concerns because you’re feeling isolated, speaking to them could ensure you become more involved in your class and get the support you need. You could even run for this role if you have an interest in helping others, but don’t forget that it’s a lot of responsibility.
Get Involved In The Class Whatsapp Group
A class Whatsapp group allows you all to meet each other and stay in touch, even if it’s not quite the same. You can make connections with other people in your group, talk about interests, worries, and anything else on your mind. It might even be easier to get to know one another over Whatsapp, helping you to build a solid base for when you finally meet in person.
Join A Sports Team
If you’re interested in joining a team, you’ll need to find out when training is and what you need to do to take part. Certain sports teams may be able to continue in the new academic year, so this could be a great way to meet new friends, stay active, and have fun without feeling too boxed in.
Join A Club
Joining a club or society could give you plenty of opportunities to meet people and have fun. As blended learning is new for everyone, the clubs and societies at your college will likely come up with even more events and get creative with ways for everybody to meet one another. You could potentially get more involved and sit on their board. This will help you to feel like a part of something bigger and should help to ease any worries you are having.
Take Part In Any Online Events
Playing games together online and taking part in quizzes isn’t a revolutionary idea, but if you make sure you attend these events you could end up having a lot of fun and meeting people you get along with. No one is running them? How about organizing them yourself? There’s nothing stopping you from taking the lead here. Remember, many of your classmates will be in the same situation as you and would love the opportunity to connect with people, even if it is online.
Socialize Following The Social Restrictions
In some cases, you may still be able to socialize following the restrictions. Make sure you follow the guidelines and information laid out about socializing and that you’re all up to date. If you meet a few people online you think you’d like to meet in person, arrange to meet with them while social distancing. You could go for a socially distanced walk or picnic, for instance. Spending time outdoors where there is lots of space is a good idea, as this should help everybody to stay safe and alleviate any fears around catching or spreading the virus.
College freshmen can still make new friends during COVID, it’s just going to take a little more effort. However, this should mean that you end up with friends you really get along with! Remember, everybody is in the same situation, so see if there’s anything you can do or organize to bring people together.