See what Jade from Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) has to say about meeting classmates and friends virtually!
Q: Tips for meeting friends/classmates with online classes?
A: Hi there! I totally understand how you feel and honestly, a lot of people feel the same. There are times when studying virtually alone can be taxing sometimes or especially in a new environment it feels like you don’t know anyone. You want to make friends but how do we navigate making friends online? My biggest tip is to just explore and reach out.
There’s also the other case of: I have friends at UT but it’s difficult for us to meet up. Which again, lots of people feel the same way. The biggest tip to do is again to reach out to them.
Explore: Clubs, Organizations, Events, Social Media
To find friends you gotta put yourself out there a little bit. People can meet who they can’t see so I encourage you to attend and join different clubs, organizations, events. You’ll find people with similar interests, similar personalities, or who are also just looking to try something new and make friends. If you’re having trouble finding clubs, orgs, and events to attend or find, the WEP Newsletter and Engineering newsletters are always great places to reference for major-specific activities. A bunch of UT groups have Facebook groups or pages and regularly post events there too. You can also explore on Instagram and then that way you can connect to other people and stay updated on events too. Hornslink is also a great resource to find potential clubs and organizations that might pique your interest and it will bring you to that org’s social media for you to learn more information. While you’re on social media, you’ll naturally find people with the same major as you or in the same grade as you, and a simple follow could lead to having a familiar face during a lecture or a new conversation.
Reach out: 3 seconds of courage
Like I hinted before, most people want to make friends but may be shy to initiate conversation. However, who knows what the 3 seconds of courage it takes to spark a conversation could lead to.
Study group: if you’re looking to meet your classmates, I suggest forming a study group and sending a message in your class GroupMe, piazza, canvas discussion, or even zoom chat. You can even ask the professor before class if you can make an announcement before class or send a message at the beginning or end of class and you’ll find people in the same boat who will reach back out to you.
Trade social media: Whenever you meet someone new online, whether you’re in a breakout room or even a new group chat, trade social media. Introduce yourself or ask about them, and trade social media at the end that way y’all can keep up with each other. Whenever you see a cool post or story, comment on it, and naturally start a conversation.
Don’t be afraid to message or talk first: if there’s someone you wanna get to know better, just message them. Everyone’s looking to make new friends and be more social at this time, so the other person can only be thankful that you reached out first.
Meeting friends: How can I see my friends when we’re all virtual?
So it’s been a while since you’ve last seen your friends and it's hard to meet up because everyone is far, busy, or not as open to meeting up. Maybe you don’t like having to talk to each other on zoom and wanna try something else?
If it’s been a while since you’ve talked to your friends, again, just reach out and try to organize something. Regardless, I’m sure they’ve missed you too and can’t wait to talk again and they’ll be glad to hear from you again. If you and your friends have a group, start the conversation and try to get everyone on the same page
Let’s say y’all aren’t sure how to meet. Online platforms y’all can use are Zoom, Facetime, Skype, Snapchat, Houseparty, and Discord. I’m sure there’s more that I missed, but generally, these allow you to video chat and have an ongoing text conversation too.
Overall, meeting and making friends online is difficult to navigate, no doubt about it. But if you explore and reach out, you’ll naturally attract people into your life. Everyone is feeling a lil lonely during these times and would appreciate meeting someone new or having small conversations again. Just have those 3 seconds of courage and it’ll work out. No matter the outcome, keep trying and things will happen the way they were meant to happen. :)
You can find SASE on social media here!
Facebook group: SASE Facebook
Our purpose is to prepare Asian heritage scientists and engineers for success in the global business world, to celebrate diversity and participate socially on campus, and to provide opportunities for members to make contributions to their local communities. At core, we are an equally social and professional organization for students to be involved on campus. Our chapter website is here, and please join our Facebook group, as we post announcements for all our meetings and events there! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive our newsletters!
This blog was written by Jade Blanco, a chemical engineering sophomore and the outreach chair for SASE.