Struggling to make new friends over Zoom? Here’s how

Making new friends is tough! Sure, we see the same people every day at school, but actually reaching out and making an effort to form new bonds can be challenging and scary. Now that many schools are offering only online classes, finding the people you really click with seems nearly impossible. But don't fret! We're all going through a tough adjustment period, and you're definitely not alone in the way you're feeling. We have some tips to help you find your vibe this year and hopefully keep you from feeling like Phoebe from Friends.

Start a study group

Whether you need help figuring out the math homework, editing your essay, or reviewing for your history test, don't be afraid to ask in your class chat for a study partner or two (as long as it's an assignment you're allowed to collaborate on). Chances are, there are other people in your class who would also really appreciate an extra brain and some extra company while they get their work done. Have a group project coming up? This is the perfect opportunity to get to know your classmates better outside of the class.

Speak up during class

Even if you're typically pretty shy and introverted, try to force yourself to speak up at least once per class. Not only will your teacher appreciate your participation, your classmates will also start to get a sense of who you are. Definitely take advantage of breakout rooms—they're a great opportunity to get to know individual people in a less intimidating environment.

Participate in extracurriculars

Have you always thought about trying cross country? Have you been looking forward to auditoning for Improv, or itching to join the Women in Business Club? Now's the time! Join as many clubs, sports and activities as you are interested in and have time for to find your passions and meet others who share similar interests. People who are passionate about the same things tend to form really strong bonds.

Reach out over social media

Connecting with classmates via social media is one of the best ways to form bonds outside of the classroom. Don't be afraid to follow them on Insta or start a streak on Snap. The more you communicate, the faster you'll become friends.

Be active in the group chat

If your class already has a group chat, participate in it regularly so your classmates really get a sense of who you are. If you don't have a class chat yet, ask if you can start one! Create a space where you can share homework questions, remind each other about upcoming tests and just chat about random things.

Find a mentor

An upperclassman, a recent graduate, an older sibling, or a friend of an older sibling can be a valuable resource in helping you navigate this transition and really find your place. Find someone who you trust and be open with them about how you're feeling. Even if their school experience wasn't virtual, they probably experienced some of the same feelings you have and can offer super helpful advice.

Meet other kids in your community

Your new friends don't have to just be classmates. Look for workshops at local businesses, or events at community centers, or sports clinics that will give you the opportunity to (safely) make friends outside of school.

Organize your own event

Not much going in your community? Plan your own event! Ask your neighbors or classmates to donate food items, books, or first-aid supplies to support people struggling to access resources during the Covid-19 pandemic. Organize an open mic or a peaceful protest for Black Lives Matter. Host a virtual book club or book exchange. Get creative!

Check in with old friends

During your quest to meet new friends, don't forget to check in with your old ones. Whether you're at totally different schools or simply in different classes, send them a quick text and see how their year is going. You might not be seeing each other every single day, but that doesn't mean you have to lose touch.

What has your virtual school experience been like? Let us know on social media @girlslifemag.

All GIFS via Giphy

by Maya Valmon | 11/17/2020