Love it or hate it, online classes are the new thing for right now (and hopefully not forever). Learning how to keep up with school work and not fall behind while being remote is one thing, but still trying to be social in the time of social distancing is a completely different thing. Since starting classes, I’ve been trying to come up with ways to keep connected with old friends and even meet new people for both classes and just for fun, so here’s what I’ve learned:

For older friends, just start with a text! Sending a simple “hey, it’s been a long time since we talked, how are classes/life going?” is the best way to get a convo going; I know I’d be happy that someone remembered me enough to text me.

For making new friends, it’s all about seeing who’s in your circle and expanding it. Basically all classes have a group chat, so being active in the chat and trying to either add to the discussion or organize a study session is a great way to get to know more people. If you happen to follow someone on social media and they’re in your class, reach out to them. Unlike in-person, everyone is actually in the same boat of lacking social interaction so people are more open than I realized.

The last catch-all is joining clubs and orgs. It’s a good strategy for both in-person and remote times since everyone there is interested in similar things so you’ve already got that to talk about. Clubs around your major are an easy place to start, but other ones that expand beyond that can really have you meet some of the most interesting people you’ve ever met.

I hope that these lessons are useful to anyone feeling the way I first felt at the beginning of quarantine: alone and grasping for social interaction. And remember, eventually it’ll all be over and we’ll be laughing at all the crazy ways you met people during Corona.

Cameron Cole

Cameron Cole

MAJOR: Computer Science/Business Administration YEAR: Class of 2023 HOMETOWN: Chicago, Illinois PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @cxjcole On campus, I've been involved with USC's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, the Alpha Delta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and I am a coach for Viterbi's ENGR 102: Engineering Freshman Academy.