Yes, I know, Covid-19 has spoiled our university life. We don’t go clubbing anymore, meeting new people is hard and you may feel a bit demotivated. I know these are hard times, but that doesn’t mean you can't engage and meet new people. Here are some tips I am going to give you to improve your participation.
- Do not be shy! Because you get to know most of your course mates over zoom, it may feel like you don’t really know them. Maybe, as a first step, you could consider turning your camera on in a Zoom lecture. With time, more students will start doing it as well and eventually, you will get to see everyone’s faces.
- Be active. Don’t feel like you are alone doing a degree, because you are not! Professors are going to be there for you so don’t be worried and don’t be afraid to email them! A course group chat can help as well to share concerns and clarify lecture material.
- Student societies are the best way for you to meet new people! Societies are meant to gather students with similar interests. When joining a society, you will meet new people who share the same interests and thoughts as you. Let’s not forget that because UofG is such an international University, you will get to learn other countries’ culture and values.
- Think about your future. University is there to help you grow professionally but also as an individual. Becoming a student rep can help you develop transferable skills such as communication, speaking in public, time management and organisation (among others). Furthermore, this valuable experience will boost your CV and employers appreciate it.
- Volunteering. It is tricky to volunteer now, plus, understandably, some students prefer to stay in their flats rather than being exposed. However, you can volunteer from home. The Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council (src) has a volunteer website section where you can undertake a wide range of volunteering opportunities. You will see online and offline opportunities. When you volunteer, you will feel involved and develop new skills or build on existing knowledge. You will also gain confidence in yourself and feel valued.
- Have regular online meetings with course mates/friends. Being away from home, from your loved ones, with the uncertainty of not knowing when you are going to meet them next can be tricky and stressful for some students. It is therefore important to check on your mates and talk to them. This way, you get to know more about them while not thinking about other things that concern you i.e. you get distracted.
- University events. The University of Glasgow has many online events. After having a look at the website, you can choose to participate in different ones. This is a way of learning more about what the topic of the event was and perhaps enhance new knowledge. Important to mention, most of the events are free 😊
- Conferences. Similarly to university events, with conferences you may get to meet professors who share professional knowledge about something you like in particular. Networking with professors and lecturers will help you become more noticeable and bond with who knows, a future employer?
Engaging with the university may make you feel like you are contributing to a society. Do not feel lonely during times of COVID-19 and instead volunteer, attend events and conferences, join a society! Now you may have more time than before, so the best way to spend it on is by making yourself more experienced and knowledgeable. The fact that we are in a pandemic is not an excuse to not do anything. Engage and enjoy while being safe.