How to be Social as an Online Student at SUU

Posted: May 03, 2024 | Author: Madelyn Bushman | Read Time: 2 minutes

Woman video conferencing on a laptopOne of the most common worries online students have is whether they will feel isolated compared to traditional campus social life. With the right strategies and mindset, online students can cultivate a vibrant social life – whether seeking friendships, study buddies or professional networks.

Here’s how you can be social as an online student at Southern Utah University:

Participate in online discussions

Most online courses incorporate discussion boards into their curriculum where students can interact with each other and their professors. Actively participating in these discussions not only reinforces learning but also facilitates social interaction.

Tawny Hammond, SUU alumna, explained how participating in online discussions benefitted her during her online MIS program:

“I was concerned I wouldn’t feel connected to people,” said Hammond. “But when professors were involved with students, and the students participated in discussions, the online experience was great. I was sad when students didn’t participate in those, because I would have enjoyed getting to know them.”

So, share your thoughts, ask questions and engage with your peers. By making meaningful contributions to the discussions, you’ll establish a sense of community.

Form study groups

Study groups are a key part of the traditional educational experience, and there’s no reason they can’t be replicated online.

Reach out to classmates and suggest forming a study group. Utilize video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Google Meet, where you can connect for virtual study sessions.

These study groups can offer both academic support and a sense of community, mimicking the in-person study session you might miss as an online student.

Connect with Peers via Social Media

Social media isn’t just for scrolling through memes or catching up on news; it’s also a powerful tool for building and maintaining relationships. Utilize social media to connect with fellow students and share your experiences with them. Social media may be a great tool to use when needing to reach out to peers for advice or simply to share a laugh. You also never know when such a connection will lead to employment opportunities down the road.

In addition, SUU Online has a Facebook Community page where online students can join and make connections with other online students! The SUU Online Community Facebook Group is a great way to feel a sense of community and socialize with peers.

The online learning journey doesn’t have to be a reclusive experience. By leveraging technology and embracing the opportunities for connection, you can create a fulfilling social life that helps you feel a sense of community. And when you come to Cedar City for graduation, you will already “know someone” there and even have a friend you can sit with.

Remember, being social as an online student requires a proactive approach. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you; seek them out, and don’t be afraid to take the initiative in forming connections. In doing so, you’ll not only enrich your educational experience but also build a network of friends and colleagues that can potentially span the globe.

Tags: Student Life SUU Online

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