Five Ways to Connect With Classmates When Earning a Degree Online

According to a paper released by the Student Health Services department at Boston University, relationships are the top source of stress for university students. When you attend a university, you have an entirely new set of peers with whom you want to connect. You may also want a bit of help with your most challenging classes.

Although developing and maintaining relationships is difficult for any student, it’s even more difficult if you aren’t physically present. When you earn a degree online, you don’t have a dormitory and lecture halls that force you to forge new relationships with unfamiliar people. To connect with your classmates while earning a degree online, you’ll have to work a little.

Thankfully, the Internet presents more opportunities than ever for students to connect with one another. Meet fellow students on social media, online forums and local gatherings. It’s likely that your university also offers services that can help you meet other online students. Get social! These tips can help.

Use Social Media

The greatest strength of social media is that it connects people. Twitter and Facebook both have keyword searches that allow you to look for fellow students by searching for the name of your school. On Instagram, you can use both keywords and locations to find pictures shared by people with whom you could potentially connect. Most people who use social media are open to meeting others, so don’t be shy — introduce yourself.

Find or Organize a Gathering

It’s likely that your online university hosts frequent gatherings to help students meet one another. Although gatherings might be easier to find if the university primarily has local students, you should also be able to find state or regional gatherings for an online university with a national student population. If you’re unable to find a student gathering by searching on the university’s website, ask your mentor for help. You can always organize a student gathering yourself if one doesn’t exist. Ask the university to provide funding.

Use an Online Forum

Your university may provide an online forum as a resource for students to meet one another and discuss student life. Use the search field on the university’s website to find out. You might also find an unofficial student-run forum if you search Google for the name of your university and the word “forum.” You could also ask your professors if discussion groups exist for any of your individual classes.

Join a Study Group

Many university courses have study groups that meet locally or online each week. A study group isn’t just a great way to meet fellow students — it can also help you understand difficult material and achieve a better grade. If a study group doesn’t exist for a particular class, ask your professor to help you organize one. A local coffee shop is a perfect location for weekly meetings with fellow students. You can also use communication software such as Skype to arrange a virtual online meeting.

Join the Class Chat

When you attend classes online, it’s likely that your university will offer a real-time chat function that allows students to interact. The chat function primarily exists for students to ask questions and give feedback to their professors — but you shouldn’t hesitate to use the chat to organize meetups with fellow students as well.

Connect With Fellow Students Now

When you’re earning a degree online, the Internet presents ample opportunities for meeting fellow students. Whether you prefer to engage with others on social media or use the resources that your university provides, you’re certain to connect with classmates willing to socialize or study with you.

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