Students & Social Distancing: Staying Connected in Isolation 

Lizzie Ottenstein
Shreejana Mainali

The lack of in-person interaction has made connecting and reaching out to friends more important than ever. Research shows emotional wellbeing affects cognitive processes such as perception, attention, learning, memory, reasoning, and problem-solving. Without it, students are more likely to drop out and make irresponsible decisions.  

To help students fight isolation and stay in touch with their classmates, we have compiled 5 effective tips. 

➜ 1. Organize group study sessions

One of the best ways to learn is by organizing study groups. Take advantage of discussion forums or group chats on your school’s learning management system (LMS) and discover new ways to interact and brainstorm. Self-paced learning is important but working on assignments with a group of friends can be a productive and healthy experience. 

➜ 2. Share resources

Sharing resources with classmates is a good way to connect as it helps both people involved. Start by creating a virtual resource sharing space or use the one available on your school’s LMS. There you can exchange study resources along with ideas and tips. If you’re struggling with a topic, a reliable community of learners relieves the stress of learning alone and helps establish positive relationships. 

➜ 3. Reach out

Online learning can be isolating. Schedule a phone call or a group video conference, to check in and connect. You can also share schedules and organize group activities depending on those schedules. It’s helpful to remind each other that we are not alone. 

➜ 4. Participate and engage in online activities

A great way to establish connection among peers is by engaging in online group activities and creating a space for positive feedback. Asking questions should not only be limited to instructors. Ask questions and find out your classmates’ perspectives on certain topics. Share learning goals and find out how your classmates are keeping their spirits up. The more you engage in online discussions or Q/A sessions, the more connected you and your peers will be. 

➜ 5. Connect outside school

Take some time away from school and connect outside online school using apps like Zoom or Hangouts. Those fond of online gaming can plan game nights or activities involving other common interests. Keep in touch through social media apps like Snapchat or Instagram. This type of connection can truly help us feel more connected and less isolated. 

We’re all facing unprecedented challenges, and it’s important that we don’t face them alone. Connecting in these various ways will not only help us academically but also emotionally, ultimately making for a more manageable remote learning experience.