Campus cope: making friends in a virtual world — connecting with classmates outside of online classrooms

Every year before school starts, I find myself stressing out about whether or not I will be able to make friends. I worry now more than ever since I will no longer have the opportunity to meet people in person with classes being online. However, though it may be difficult to make friends in an online classroom and with social distancing measures in place, it is not impossible. 

An easy way to make friends is by interacting with your classmates during Zoom breakout sessions and by participating in class discussions. If you notice a particular classmate taking the same classes as you, reaching out and forming a study group can greatly help you not only in class, but it could also lead you to forming new friendships, especially if they share the same major as you.

One key factor that helps in making friends is by checking your emails. Oftentimes, UCR Housing sends out emails with events that serve as great ways of making friends. Keeping an eye on your email and attending events, even if they’re via Zoom, helps. You get to meet people who are interested in the same activities as you. If checking your emails isn’t for you, you can always follow the Associated Student Program Board (ASPB) on Instagram and be on the lookout for their posts or stories. 

If you live in the dorms or on campus, you may notice that there are a few GroupMe groups pertaining to your building or your residence hall. This serves as a great way of getting to know your neighbors and also making friends in the process! It might be a great opportunity to gather your neighbors and play a few rounds of Among Us, or even to play online board game simulators. With everyone being in quarantine I’m sure your neighbors would appreciate some kind of human interaction, so don’t be afraid to reach out!

Despite the fact that in-person meetings and interactions are severely limited, that does not mean that the world is put to a halt. Clubs are still meeting, albeit in an online format. Visiting the Highlander Link website can get you in direct contact with different clubs that you might be interested in. By attending these meetings, not only do you get to make friends, but you also have the opportunity to get involved on campus.

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