Making connections in an academic setting is crucial to enhancing and improving your experience for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest is obviously so that you stay aware of the dealings going on within the environment. For example, if you find yourself connecting with other students. Irrespective of the year they are in, whether a freshman or a senior, keep in mind that there will always be something important to learn. Or, suppose you strike up a conversation with a professor or an ex-student of the institution. With the experience and expertise, they have built up.
They can offer an interesting viewpoint and guide you in your future actions, not only as a professional but also as a person. Now imagine you can convert a portion of this group of acquaintances into a close-knit friend group. It is easy to imagine how having a well-balanced and interactive group of friends can be helpful in the long run, especially in terms of mental well-being. After all, there is no doubt about it that being a part of an active academic journey can be a taxing process and having a support system definitely helps.
However now with the changing situation for education where online teaching is quickly becoming the new normal, it is very difficult for people to strike up interesting conversations which are not directly related to only the educational curriculum but go beyond that into a territory that allows you to grow closer and become friends. Studies have shown that a lack of physical connection is to blame as well as a growing dislike for communication in general, considering the dire times we are in which has definitely played a negative role in the minds of sensitive young adults.
Yet even when conditions cannot be changed it is in our own hands to change our outlook towards the world so that an improvement however imperceptible at first can be noticed in the long run. Making friends and growing your network is of utmost importance and so we present three basic tips for creating meaningful relationships for those who study or teach online.
Be an active participant in the classroom:
While it is near impossible to be integrated into every activity that is taking place in class making sure. That you show up from time to time is the perfect opportunity to catch the attention of your teachers as well as fellow students. Especially for those who teach online the lack of offline classes might make it. Much harder to match a face and personality to someone who is otherwise just a name on a register and a black square on a video classroom program. Making decisions about what activities you want to be a part of also automatically sorts out people who you could be friends with in another wise ideal environment and allows you to find something in common to connect faster with.
Try ice breakers and other forms of small talk:
While it is good to show that you are serious about your academic experience nobody likes to be friends with someone who only has a one-track mind. Especially for students online teaching and learning can already be a harrowing process and one that requires proper mental rest. Try picking up hobbies and discussing them with other similar minds it people so as to both learn more about them as well as offer information about yourself and build a relationship that is based on mutual interest.
Try to initiate physical meetings:
While in some cases the education process has been made completely online. Other states have chosen a form of hybrid learning which allows for both physical as well as virtual lessons. You might also find yourself making friends with someone who lives in a close-by district and hence at a reachable destination from your location of residence. Organising such meet-ups and putting in an effort to take an online friendship to the next level can be the key to building long-lasting connections which will last much beyond the required time period.
At the end of the day remember that online teaching and learning is a global phenomenon that almost every nation across the world is going through. While situations might seem to be irreparable at the present moment nothing stays the same for too long. So take the first step today and build a friendship that will make you proud with the tips and tricks presented here.