Unique ways I connect with others as a student during COVID-19

Choosing to live on campus during a pandemic was a risk I was willing to take because I wanted to meet new people. Even though all my classes were online, I still wanted a first year on campus student experience as the introduction to my university life.

COVID-19 has created a thicker barrier to connect with others but didn’t cancel out these opportunities. Without any in person classes or activities I was still able to make my on-campus experience fulfilling and worth the risk by connecting with my UVIC community within COVID-19 restrictions.

Here is a list of actions I take in efforts to continuously connect with my UVIC community.

1. Make efforts to talk to strangers

Every day I go to the cafeteria and wait in line for food or sit down to eat a meal surrounded with others doing the exact same. This gives me the opportunity to compliment people’s outfits or ask people what looks good on the menu.

I make sure to meet at least three strangers every week at the MOD by starting small talk as I wait in line for food. The cafeteria workers are also very fun to get to know and build personal connections with. Strangers don’t always mean danger.

2. Contact students using the Brightspace Class list

Every Zoom class I find something interesting about one person and send them an email about what I notice about them. For example, if a student has a cool background or says something funny, I send a compliment their way after class. This often leads to exchanging socials and getting to know my community!

3. Create personal connections with professors over class office hours

Many students don’t take advantage of the professor’s office hours, which results in professors waiting for students to enter the Zoom call. However, I took the opportunity to get to know my professors during these times that are set up for class help.

Since emailing professors to chat during office hours I have strengthened my relationships not only with my professors but with the class material.

If I have a personal connection to my professors, l notice that I make more of an effort to listen and engage during class. I have created a positive educational experience by breaking the student-teacher roles/labels.

My efforts to connect to my community during a pandemic has made me an extraverted, conversation initiating, confident person. By taking the opportunities and finding new ways to connect with my community, I’m able to create many influential, motivating relationships.

The boundaries of COVID-19 has pushed me out of my comfort zone; out of my cocoon and flying around as a social butterfly.


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