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How to avoid feeling isolated when you’re studying online

News story

Studying online is a great option for people with a busy schedule, giving you lots of flexibility to study when it suits you and balance it amongst your other priorities like work and family. It can however sometimes feel a bit lonely when you’re spending time studying alone in your room.

Fingers typing on a laptop keyboard

While you may feel like you are missing out on opportunities to engage with your peers because you aren’t studying on campus, thanks to social media and the technology that is set up as part of your course means that you still have opportunities to connect with other students.

Here are a few tips on how to connect with your online peers, so you can get the most out of your study experience!

Remember that your classmates probably feel the same way. Even though studying online doesn’t have to be an isolating experience, it’s very normal for online students to worry about not making friends. Keep this in mind when reaching out to new people – they’re probably happy to have someone to talk to!

Utilise Blackboard discussion boards. Blackboard should be your first port of call when it comes to reaching out to the students that are studying the same units as you, and you should make the effort to regularly engage with the different discussion boards for your units. While the conversation threads may revolve primarily around your study topics, you can still use them to gauge interest from other students in setting up an online study group!

Organise an online study group with social media. Many students use Facebook Messenger or Groups or WhatsApp chats to manage group assignments and help each other out with their studies, so why not set up a similar group with your online peers? This is a good way to improve your work and to connect with people in your course in a less academic setting.

Make the most of group assignments and exercises. Group assignments can be tricky to navigate but on the plus side, they’re a great opportunity for you to meet people in your course. Introduce yourself to your group members and try to get to know them – you never know, you might end up gaining a new friend!

Participate in online events. There is a wide range of events held at Curtin that are available online for students, including study skills workshops, wellbeing tips sessions, career fairs and more. You can discover what’s happening by visiting the My Campus tab on OASIS and favouriting the events that interest you.

Join a Guild club. There are over 100 clubs and societies available through the Curtin Student Guild that are available for you to join. When you find a club that interests you, be sure to reach out to them to ask what events they run online, as not all clubs run online events at this time.

Maintain your offline social life. It’s important to make connections with your online peers but it’s just as important to maintain your personal relationships. Make sure to stay in touch with your friends and family and be sure to catch up with them during your study breaks.

Connect with your tutors. Communicating regularly and thoughtfully with your tutors and lecturers will help you to stand out from your classmates and build a useful relationship that will support you throughout your studies.

The hardest part about connecting with others is making the first step, so be brave and put yourself out there!