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Here’s How to Make the Most Out of Your Remote Freshman Year

Let’s face it— this certainly isn’t the freshman year experience you were expecting.

I’m sure all of us would’ve laughed a year ago at the mere prospect of a pandemic emerging, let alone one that would alter life for months on end. Our high school graduations were canceled and so was an in-person college semester.

That being said, your new chapter in college doesn’t need to perpetuate this negativity. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your virtual freshman year!

Tip #1: Stay in the loop

Even if you’re not living on campus, it’s still important to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the Temple community. Whether through discussions with your professors about upcoming events, or simply through reading the weekly Nutshell newsletter, staying connected to campus is an amazing way to feel more included.

Tip #2: Get involved

Feeling unfulfilled because you’re not meeting people you click with? Join some student organizations! If you love anime, get involved in Temple’s anime club. If you love writing, look into freelancing for The Temple News. Temple boasts hundreds of student organizations, so surely one will be a match for you. Finding people you have common interests with is a great first step to developing friendships.

It’s also likely that these clubs are specifically seeking out freshmen since promotional events, like TempleFest, were all made virtual, resulting in lesser visibility.

Tip #3: Meet people virtually

A great starting point for finding friends amid your remote freshman year is social media. Through the @templeuco2024 Instagram page or even Temple University Facebook groups, you can definitely reach out to people and begin connecting.

It might seem awkward to pursue friendships virtually since we’re all so used to in-person interaction, but the mere temporary discomfort you feel socializing online shouldn’t prevent you from creating a new connection.

Tip #4: Know how to stay safe on campus

For those of you who are learning remotely while remaining on campus, ensure that you have a successful freshman year by familiarizing yourself with Temple University’s four public health pillars. Until a vaccine is readily available, your ability to uphold these pillars is necessary to not only keep yourself safe, but also to keep others in the Temple community safe. If your ideal freshman experience consists of you living on campus, ensure that your actions correspond.

Tip #5: Be understanding

While it’s easy to get lost in your own frustrations, make sure that you understand that everybody has been impacted by Covid-19. It may feel like an individual burden to learn remotely, but our greater society has altered many aspects of life to accommodate the CDC’s recommended guidelines. The point being, EVERYBODY’s life looks a little different right now. Make sure to be extra understanding and compassionate to others during this uncertain time.

If you take away anything from this post, please make it that you’re certainly not alone in your frustrations.

This blog post was written by Laila Samphilipo, Digital Committee Member.

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