There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has underlined the importance of staying connected. With student living often combining staying with parents and sharing houses with friends, it’s crucial to be able to embrace the nomadic lifestyle while keeping in touch with loved ones. Whether you’re planning to travel, you’re thinking about moving out of your family home, or you’re moving back home as a result of lockdown, here are some steps you can take to stay connected.
Jump on the video call bandwagon
Most of us are heavily reliant on video calls to stay in touch with friends and family at the moment. If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, now is the time to reconnect with relatives, fellow students and mates you haven’t seen or heard from in a long time. Text messages, social media and emails are great, but they don’t provide the same experience as a video call. It’s brilliant to be able to see people, to interact using facial expressions and movement and to communicate with a number of friends or classmates at the same time.
Participate in online groups, classes and forums
Studying is very different at the moment, and for many, it can be challenging to maintain motivation when you can’t see your friends at uni every day, and you don’t have the opportunity to enjoy the social side. One way to make classes more fun and to get more out of studying at home is to get involved in online groups, forums and interactive classes. You can hang out with your friends, meet new people and learn at the same time, and you can make plans to extend study sessions into more enjoyable forms of entertainment. Watch movies or stream concerts together, enjoy a drink at the weekend or even plan a socially-distanced outdoor picnic or a trip to the beer garden.
Take advantage of virtual solutions
For many students, life involves splitting time between home and college or uni. If you’re moving around, or you’re away from home for long periods, it can be difficult to keep up with communications without changing address every year or asking your parents to forward every letter. This is where innovative solutions like cheap virtual mail boxes online come in handy. If you have your own mailbox, you can receive and open mail on the go, you don’t have to worry about changing all your details every time you move and you can save your parents or your housemates the hassle of dealing with post for you.
Socialise in the flesh when possible
Studies show that we are spending more than time ever online. When your daily routine involves logging on, accessing lecture notes online and participating in webinars, and the headlines are dominated by lockdown news, it can be tricky to remember that it is possible to socialise in the flesh. Now that measures are easing, make an effort to get out and about in a way that is safe and makes you feel comfortable. Meet up with a friend in the park, go for a bike ride with a family member or study in the back garden with a classmate. Interaction can make a really positive difference to mental health.
Staying connected (wether that be through a video call, text message, via social media or in the flesh), is vital at what is a difficult time for students. Take these tips on board to keep in touch.