Make Friends While Pursuing your Online Degree

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Posted on January 15th, 2011

College is usually viewed as an unforgettable, significant time period in our lives. Some of the most influential , non-academic, factors shaping your college experience will be your friends. It is important to share both your intellectual and personal growth with your peers. Furthermore, it's great to meet people who share your interests and ambitions. Prospective students assume that virtual learning deters new friendships and experiences that other universities provide. Unfortunately, this stops people from pursuing an online degree. The assumption couldn't be more wrong! In fact, you can make friends just as easily during an online educational program. Here are some tips on how to meet other students.

Encourage Study Groups

Once you sign up for your courses, do a little research to figure out which students (on the roster) live closest to you. Next, you may want to send out a general email to those students! Include a little bit about yourself. Also, mention you would be interested in developing a study group. Recommend some central meeting points to study on a weekly/bi-weekly basis! This will allow you to make some friends and talk about the material with your peers! You can help and learn from each other as well. It often helps to have a friend explain their own method to solving a calculus problem! These study groups can be the basis for stronger friendships in the future.

Use Networking and City Searches to Find People and Groups with Similar Interests

In addition to befriending students in your courses, you should use the tools within your city to meet new people! Large and medium-sized cities often have a wealth of groups for young people to join. For example, if you are learning Spanish, find a Spanish speaking group in your city. You can also find a variety of groups that meet based on other common interests or hobbies. Art museums, for example, often have film clubs, art clubs, or groups for young students. Or, join a local sports team or book club. Find a group, and stick to the meeting schedule!

Keep in Touch with Old Friends!

Although college is about embracing new experiences, don't forget to keep in touch with your high school friends! "Out with the old, and in with the new" DOES NOT apply when it comes to friendships. Your old friends can often provide an important support system when things aren't going your way. Also, they can offer insight and advice based on their own experiences. It's important to see how things are progressing for them. Keep them updated on your life too!

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