Human connection is an integral part of socialization and mental health. But over the past few months, social distancing and staying at home has become the new normal. Especially with COVID cases spiking up again and colder weather, our options for socially distanced activities are limited. While there are many ways for students to stay connected through online platforms, it is much harder to maintain the community-wide connection and these individual relationships without face-to-face interactions. The little interactions like conversations in the hallways before class and waving hello to someone in the halls have disappeared. Even though these small social interactions are seemingly meaningless, a lack of them can result in students feeling isolated from the community, taking a toll on their mental health. 

With winter break coming up soon, the connection we have with each other through virtual classes will disappear, making students feel even more isolated than usual. Some ways that we can stay connected with each other throughout virtual learning and winter break can be through FaceTime calls with friends and family, picking up the phone and calling someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, or organizing a zoom call with friends. 

Missing movie nights and binging TV shows with friends? Netflix party has you covered! This website allows you to watch any movie or TV show available on Netflix while chatting with your friends at the same time.

Another great way to stay connected during this challenging time is to organize virtual game nights with your friends and classmates. Whether it’s on Kahoot or through interactive game servers, game nights are a great way to have fun and socialize with friends!

Even though social distancing makes it hard to maintain social connections, these online platforms can help us interact through these challenging times and stay connected with each other.