Photo by Kipras Štreimikis on Unsplash

Connected in More Ways Than One

It’s a strange time we’re living in, and that phrase is quickly sounding like a broken record. Yes, the Coronavirus pandemic has become…a bit of an issue, to put it nicely.

Alongside this, governments across the world have advised on self-isolation, quarantines, and social distancing, which has caused waves of loneliness to flood the globe in individual houses. But there are ways to combat this!

Staying in touch with friends, and fellow students is vital to keeping loneliness at bay, and to keep you motivated while spending days in the same place. There are hundreds of ways to stay in contact, and here are the ways I’ve been doing it.

Social media and the internet, in this case, is a blessing! Facebook and Snapchat are the obvious ones with billions of us using these apps combined. More recently, Zoom has become a popular way of calling a group of friends for a chat, and maybe even a drink! Adding to that list is the new app, House Party, where you can have up to 8 friends ‘in the house’ and you can play games while you talk. Granted, you can also do this with Facebook Messenger, but with a considerably higher number of people – 50!

Group chats are a great way to stay connected to friends and family all over the world, and you can use this on multiple apps – obviously, there’s the previously mentioned Facebook and Snapchat, but there’s also Instagram, WhatsApp, and if you want to have a little throwback, Skype!

One thing I’m a strong advocate for is staying in touch with other students from La Trobe. It’s important to try and maintain a discussion going with others on your course as it stimulates ideas and does give you a little boost and motivation to get through the seemingly constant onslaught of work.

One way to get in contact with other students is using the forums on the LMS, which can be a good way to get feedback on work, or even sending an email to classmates or your lecturer! Something less informal can be the Facebook groups that other La Trobe students have created.

Whether you are at home with family or isolating in student accommodation with friends, it’s good to vary who you communicate with, as it’ll stop any unnecessary arguing with those you’re with 24/7. It’s not uncommon to start to feel frustration and annoyance when you’re doing the same thing every day with the same faces. If you feel like you need some space, there’s nothing wrong with spending some time by yourself either.

So, my advice: keep talking. To your friends, family, peers, teachers, dog, cat, bird, anything or anyone! Don’t feel like you have to go through this alone, because you’re not. The whole world is going through this, and if you feel like you need to talk to someone – reach out! I certainly have been, even reconnecting with people I haven’t spoken to in years.

Just please remember: you are not alone! And stay well, stay safe.