3 min read
In a survey of new students, "making friends" was ranked as one of the top concerns after entering university. Making friends online is undoubtedly a new manner of reaching out and might look difficult to navigate. However, it is not impossible to create meaningful connection with one another while being separated by screens and geographical distance! Here are some suggestions from SPA to start connecting with your classmates and the wider APU community!
1. Make friends during class
If your time zone and schedule allow, try your best to attend class live, regularly of course. By doing this, you will get to interact with classmates and professors by participating in discussion, expressing opinions using chat box, or sharing with small groups in breakout rooms. Add on to your classmates’ ideas or express how you have the same interest or questions to create a sense of solidarity. Your visibility and activeness during class can help both classmates and professors become more familiar and acquainted with who you are. Especially, your verbal language (and even body language) shows how approachable and lively you are.
Your visibility and activeness during class can help both classmates and professors become more familiar and acquainted with who you are (Source: Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University Facebook)
You can also take this chance to find great study buddies who share the same goal. Form study groups by reaching out to students who ask questions you find valuable, who have the same interest in the topic you want to dig deeper in, or who put effort into discussion. And don’t forget groupmates who you are assigned to work with!
2. Make friends over social media
LINE group chat, Facebook groups, Messenger group chat for your classes may have been already created! Look around and see which fit with your ways of making connections.
You can also try using hashtags like #NewToApu to connect with the wider community over Instagram, Twitter, etc. You can post your own content with APU-specific hashtags or search the hashtags on various platforms to find other interesting APU students with common interests.
It may feel a bit nerve-racking and even awkward at first, but get to know your fellows now. When you get to see them in person, you will already know a lot about them! It will feel like catching up with a good friend!
3. Make friends at virtual events and in student activities
Making friends, especially in APU, does not only happen in classrooms! APU is home to a great variety of student organizations, associations, and circles.
This semester, many organizations and circles will hold virtual events that you can drop by! Consider starting by visiting Campus Terminal or check out the Student Office website to see which ones you would like to join! Although most activities will be virtual, forming connections with those in your class or even seniors can really build a strong support system. Take the initiative to ask if your new friends want to have a phone or video call or exchange social media accounts to stay connected.
Click here for information on clubs, circles, and student staff.
APU offers a large number of hands-on learning programs perfect for interacting with friends while learning about world challenges!
Don’t let COVID-19 destroy your opportunities to make new friends at APU! We believe that, with confidence and determination, you can all turn this into a learning experience to enrich your social skills!
Ha Phan Ngoc DOAN
Hi! I’m Ha, class of 2021FA, majoring in IRPS (International Relations and Peace Studies). On campus, I was a Resident Assistant, Teaching Assistant, APU Student Ambassador and Student Staff at APU Library. I can’t wait to share with you all my experience as a SPA member!