How to Feel Connected to Your School Despite the Distance
August 11, 2020
Racing across campus, spending hours in lecture halls, grabbing a coffee at your favourite shop: these are all things that make you feel like you’re really living the #studentlife.
So what do you do when your #studentlife looks more like regular, old #homelife? How do you feel connected to your school even when you’re not there?
It’s so important to feel linked to your campus, especially if it’s your first year at university. These tips will help you navigate the tricky waters of distance learning while still feeling like you’re getting a lot from your university experience.
Visit Your Campus
Just because you’re taking online classes doesn’t mean you can’t ever visit your school. If you live in town or close enough to drive, try to make it out a couple of times a week, even if just to walk around or spend time reading outside.
Maybe your school is offering an in-person orientation for your program. Or maybe there’s a socially-distanced student mixer happening during the first week. If there are events you feel safe going to, be intentional about getting to your campus every now and then. It’ll help you feel more connected to your school and your classmates.
If you can’t get to your campus, set aside time to pray for it! Pray over the land, the buildings; over your professors and classmates; pray for your program directors and for anyone else who may be struggling to adapt to the online learning environment.
Reach Out to Your Professors
Another way to feel more connected to your school is by reaching out to your professors. It’s not as easy to spark a friendship with your professors when you can’t stay after class to ask them a question. It may be more tempting to try and work things out yourself.
Or you may find that it’s harder to reach them, presumably because many of your classmates are doing the same. But stick with it. If you have a TA, reach out to them as well. Connect with them regularly to go over online class material or ask questions.
You’ll feel more involved in your classes, more motivated to complete your assignments and build relationships that can be rekindled once you’re back on campus full-time.
Spend Time with Friends
A lot of your friends in town may be in the same boat, having to start or “go back to” university from a distance. Take time to see them every now and then. It’ll get you out of the house, provide a break from your regular routine and give you a sense of comradery.
And try connecting with other students in your program and at your school. Join a Christian community or another club that takes part in one of your favourite hobbies. Reach out to a church on campus or find a study-buddy in one of your classes.
Remaining connected to community when you can’t necessarily meet face-to-face is something worth prioritizing. It’s good for your mental, social, and spiritual health.
Feel Connected to Your School
As you adjust to online classes, it can be easy to feel disconnected. Putting in the time to make sure you feel a tie to your school will help motivate you to keep at it.
And remember that, eventually, you will be back on campus. Until then, give these tips a try and make sure you take care of your mental and physical health along the way. If you’re feeling a lot of uncertainty about the season ahead, check out this blog.
InterVarsity is on university campuses across Canada.
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