Building Connections with Peers
On Monday, we provided you with a few tips and tricks to help stimulate connections with professors in a time where it may prove additionally challenging to do so. Today, we’re shifting gears and focusing on the other component of an online classroom… your peers!
Have you been struggling to connect with other students? Seeking a few study buddies to tackle assignments and exams? Find out how to do so here!
The first step, which we are sure you could guess, is becoming vulnerable and reaching out to others! Whether this means tracking down a cell number, emailing a student email, chatting students from an online platform, whatever form you can connect… use it! Odds are, if you’re struggling to connect with others, so are they, and we know that tackling courses with buddies is better than navigating everything alone. So, remind yourself that even though you might feel a bit nervous or uncomfortable, the benefit of putting yourself out there will far outweigh that “cost.” When reaching out, make sure to portray an excited tone, openness to studying or otherwise connecting over course material, and a bit of an introduction about yourself to pass the stranger barrier (name, hometown, year, major, etc.)!
Another great way to seamlessly connect with others without the formality of an email or letter is through online discussion platforms. This may look like a zoom breakout room during a live lecture or a discussion page within the course with required posts on a consistent basis. Whatever it is, remember that you’re not really spending time doing much else during class, so you’ll leave yourself in a much better position academically and personally if you just speak up and get involved in the discussion. Not only does doing so ease others and increase their engagement, but it is the first step to meeting students and building friendships.
Utilize Student Org. Involvement:
Finally, utilize your already initiated involvement! Are you a participant in greek life, business fraternities, volunteer organizations, student organizations, student council, religious groups, or any other type of club on campus? If so, reach out to your fellow members to get an idea if any group participants are course peers as well! As you already share a piece of identity through involvement, creating these connections will prove easier than any other. In today’s age, most student orgs. even have online profiles on groups like Facebook or Canvas, so we encourage you to start a master post and make some connections today.
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