How To Make Friends Online

How+To+Make+Friends+Online

Maddy Chen and Karen Jean

At the beginning of this school year, Wake County originally created three different plans for school that students could choose from amidst the pandemic. Plan A, also called “Daily In-Person Instruction” would allow PreK-12 kids to meet with their teachers and classmates every day. This option was the most familiar one as school would be treated like normal and students would have the opportunity to meet others and make connections face-to-face. The next proposal, Plan B would still permit in-person relationships as students would engage in online learning for two weeks while still attending school every three. Administration and staff kept their heads up in hopes for the return of their students in the fall semester. However, it was evident that not much would be getting better in time for August. Thus, Green Hope High and all other surrounding schools made the decision to implement Plan C for reopening.

 

In a somewhat chaotic turn, all students were switched to 24/7 virtual learning. Indeed a difficult decision to make, but one that has been critical in keeping the best interests of all, this has come with both pros and cons. For some students, the transition to this new way of learning may feel difficult to build a peer to peer connection with your new classmates. Fear not, we’ve got you covered!

Where’s our credentials? Well, if our expertise as seniors and the 7 years combined that both of us have experienced at Green Hope isn’t enough, take a look at our past video series “Chaotic Energy” in which Karen shows just how easily she’s able to start up conversations. You can find these vids on our YouTube Channel, The GH Falcon. Don’t worry, you’re in good hands!

We’ve spent the past two weeks in our online Google Meets compiling a list of the best ways to make friends easier while online. Here they are below:

 

1- Don’t be shy, turn that camera on! 

Talking to someone without both your cameras on is like a brick engaging with another brick: not exciting. When students show their faces, there’s more of a connection and in-person feel. It’s definitely more comfortable to engage in thoughtful conversation and discussion and more likely for someone to trust you when they actually know what you look like.

 

2- Time for a group chat!

Whether it be through GroupMe, Discord, Instagram, Snapchat, or the classic Message app, we’d highly recommend creating or joining a virtual group with all your classmates and WITHOUT the teacher. When there’s a method that allows you to talk with other students about topics not only related to school but also outside things, bonding is bound to happen. Actively text in the chat and ask questions or voice your random inner thoughts. From personal experience, our AP Literature group chat is something you don’t want to miss being a part of! Not only do we get reminders of assignment due dates, but we can also get caught up on the material missed whenever we face the occasion of the accidental snooze and lose. 7 am lectures may not be the most exciting, but chatting with peers makes it better.

 

3-Make sure to actually participate in the breakout rooms

The breakout rooms or Small Fires as Green Hope teachers like to call it, are a way for students to get to speak and interact with one another in smaller groups. Let’s be honest: everyone’s dealt with the awkward silence at least once in your classes. But, you can easily change that. Although tempting to mute yourself and stay quiet during the time, this is actually the perfect opportunity to see each other and talk about common interests. Rather than staying quiet and doing the work alone, put in the effort to try to get to know your other classmates. Like the common phrase goes, work smarter not harder. An easy icebreaker (which we’ve tested to make sure works) is to ask “So what do you guys think of this class” or “What are your opinions on the teacher?” It’s amazing how honest some peers are when it comes to the last question!

 

4- Connect with them on Social Media

Finding someone on Instagram is a helpful tool to get insight into the type of person they are. You can ask them about their posts or something you see that you find is interesting and I’m sure they’ll be flattered that you took the time to look.

 

5- Plan FaceTimes

Once you’ve established two or three,  or even one new friend and you want to get to know them more outside of school class time, we’d recommend Facetiming one another! With the pandemic it’s more difficult to meet up wherever, but that doesn’t mean it should stop you from seeing each other virtually. Calling your friends privately and talking with them over the phone can be pretty personal and it’s a great opportunity to make closer bonds with one another.

 

We hope these tips help you. If you’re still having trouble feeling connected within the school, you can reach out to Maddy ([email protected]) or Karen ([email protected] ) and we’d love to help. Cheers!