Students used to have almost nonexistent social life back in those days, then the pandemic had initially started. This was because of two reasons, it was very awkward and extremely difficult to make use of the newly emerging digital platforms such as an education app or even informal live video chat. Secondly, students who were admitted into new semesters or grades who did not know each other certainly did not interact with one another over the Internet. If you have classmates whom you have known before the pandemic, it was no big deal, but getting to know new people through online means could be risky, as it is always advised to be careful over the Internet.
However, the educational platform is a safe place and the only drawbacks are that students become socially awkward, and do not have enough confidence to walk up to a person and make friends.
Online learning has certainly provided multiple opportunities to the students, they can now join a classroom anywhere and at any time. Because teachers and students, both mutually use education most of the time for holding classes, sharing notes, and clearing doubts, they’re very comfortable in this engagement manner that such platforms have provided them with.
But have you ever imagined whether students are interacting with one another on online learning platforms? They certainly are, but most of them resort to their old friends and family members due to uncertainty. One problem arises, the division of communities and differences in backgrounds.
India, as it is, is a very diverse country and you will find students from multiple casts, religions, and backgrounds. Not everyone is comfortable with interacting in the very first class, when they get to learn each other and their traditional forms of the way of life, then only are they comfortable in sharing more. They need a mutual sense of trust and understanding, which cannot happen unless they are face to face. This is where they lack the opportunity to meet with one another, and it could be now solved with hybrid learning.
We read how the difference in background and community might lead to students hesitating from interacting, but that is only a part of the problem. Other challenges are faced by students, as mentioned below.
- The time-lapse between each interaction: When students don’t talk to each other for a long time, either they forget the specific details, or they no longer are interested in a conversation. Not every online class is held frequently, and it is a possibility that these students might have a seven-week, or at least another day’s gap. Assuming that they are conversing for the first time, they might not be doing so on personal grounds and use an education app for conversations. There are multiple students present, thus personal interaction, and even good group interactions are not possible.
- Lack of visual-auditory conversations: when we talk to people in real life, we look at their facial expressions, movements, and other things which help us determine whether the person is interested in talking to us. The lack of such indications makes students overthink, and ultimately they decide to not interact at all.
- Commitment to carry out conversations: It requires a lot of commitment to carry out conversations these days because we have been isolated for a long time. Especially for introverted students who no longer have the confidence to do even the bare minimum. The only solution is counseling, or motivation on their behalf.
Ways To Socialise
Besides using the chat room in your education app, you can use multiple things for socializing and making yourself feel better;
- Join a club, any club will do, and take up positions of power or places of responsibility.
- Attend group calls, and participate in Group projects.
- Have a group study session at least once a month so that you not only get the perspective of different classmates but also get to share ideas on other things.
- Look for like-minded people and personally converse with them, crack a joke or use a punchline to make yourself seem approachable.
Don’t worry, this pandemic is not going to get the best out of you, all you need to do is give yourself a push and go talk to that person you’ve always wanted to since online classes started. Don’t just do great in your academics, do great in social life too!