No matter what stage you are in your life, friends are a must! With the advancement of technology, finding and making friends online has become commonplace. This is especially true for people with online college classes. Knowing how to make friends online can positively impact your college experience and your life in general.
When you go to a traditional on-campus college, it’s easier to make friends – in class, study halls, and at on-campus functions and games. However, when you are an online student, the same principles don’t apply. You will need to try some new approaches to making friends.
Here are some practical tips on how to establish, develop, and nurture online friendships.
Where and How to Find New Friends Online
Finding friends online still requires you to take part in activities going on in your community. Yes, you’re not going to sit on your couch and miraculously get friends if you don’t put yourself out there. Some of the places where you can expect to make new friends online include:
Major or Study Groups
Form or join a group of students with the same major as you. Finding these groups is just a matter of research. Be the initiator and offer to meet for study sessions, or feel free to join an already existing study group.
Do Things You Love in Your City
One of the best ways to find friends is to participate in activities you like. That way, you can meet potential friends with similar interests as you. To do this, you can use online websites to find these events, whether through an app or signing up for gym class.
Join an Online Group Based on Your Interests
Based on your hobbies and likes, perform a search online to find a club that shares the same love for your particular hobby. Then, connect online, follow them, talk to them, and set up an in-person session to work on the hobby together. For instance, you can find people who like to draw online and then set up a wine and draw night at your place!
Join and Connect on Social Media
Tips for Making Friends From Online Class
Now that you know where and how and to find friends, moving on to the art of talking virtually. Mastering virtual communication consists of creating genuine profiles, texting sincere and funny messages, and keeping the conversations entertaining.
Don’t Seem Too Needy
Although most people have their phones with them, they’re not always up for a conversation, let alone a phone call. Avoid messaging your new friend multiple times in a row if you are not getting anything back. If you seem too excited and asking for too much too quickly, they may stop answering you. Be patient and let things progress naturally.
Keep the Conversation Rolling
If this is a friend who has similar interests as you, focus on that and ask sincere questions. Bond over what makes you both tick.
Strengthen the Friendship
Rather than asking general questions, like “what are you studying?” ask about the reasons and passions for why they chose this particular field over something similar. Or even what dream job they have in mind if it was up to them.
Build a Real Online Profile
From picking your username that explains who you are to choosing your profile pic, you want to be transparent about the information you convey so that these new friends feel the need to follow you. Some things you want to include in your bio are your hobbies, where you work, and an inviting line that lets them know you are down to hang.
Do Online Friendships Count as Real Relationships?
How does one quantify the value of friendships? Well, the main elements of genuine friendship include intertwined interests and likes, closeness, and commitment. If you’re new found friendships maintain these three things, you’ve got yourself a real relationship.
Keep an Open Mind
When it comes to picking and choosing friends online and using apps to do it, you may be tempted to narrow down your search to someone very specific. You may see some things you may not like and pass on what could potentially have become your very good friend. That’s why it’s good to keep an open mind when friend-searching online. Think of it like this: when you go out, you never know who will be at that place. The randomness (good or bad) of new relationships is sometimes what makes them worth it.
That being said, try to practice the same open-minded approach when looking for friends online. That way, you expand your chances to find and meet new friends. Only after you get to know them can you accurately evaluate whether or not it is a relationship worth maintaining or not.
In this modern world, making friends online is just as important as having friends in real-life. Knowing how to make friends online can impact your life for the better!
Online friendships can grow to fruitful connections or remain online, depending on your location. Regardless of how you meet them online, the depth of your connection depends on both your efforts to strengthen the relationship and the time you spend reinforcing that connection.
Having a healthy community of friends (online and IRL) can improve your quality of life, so don’t be shy; put yourself out there. When you’re attending school online, it helps to connect with people in a similar situation so that you can share opinions and ideas, rely on each other for support, and grow that friendship over time.