Now that we are likely to be studying from home for the rest of the semester, it’s important to make sure you still feel connected to the university, your professors, and your peers. To avoid feelings of isolation, here are several useful ways to ensure you stay connected to LSE.
Sign up to online events
Your department or societies may still be hosting online events like book launches or extra-curricular discussions and lectures! Not only are these are academically enriching, but you may get to learn more about your professors’ interests and specialities, get inspiration for your dissertations, learn about new academic fields, and discuss interesting topics with the experts. Online careers talks and events are also a great way of actively engaging and getting support for life after LSE. Get involved and get engaged.
Get in touch with classmates
If your course has a WhatsApp group, message your peers! For one of my courses, we meet before class to catch up over Zoom. If your class does not have a WhatsApp group, at the end of a zoom seminar, suggest it! It can be a little daunting to put yourself out there, but everyone else will be thinking it too. You can share course-related podcasts or articles, suggest films or documentaries, reading notes and summaries, check in with one another, and get some sense of solidarity. There have also been a few open events such as an online post-grad history social – get in touch with classmates and suggest joining together!
Email or Zoom your professors
Your academic mentor is there to help you, and your professors want you to do well. There are a lot of resources out there to support you, but you can also reach out to get advice with course material and essays and express how you are doing mentally. It’s a tough time, and it’s likely that your professors are also struggling with the pandemic. We’re all human and all part of the LSE community, and it’s very humanising and comforting to know that we’re all doing our best given the circumstances. It’s easier said than done, but don’t isolate yourself!
Connect to yourself!
Feeling connected doesn’t just mean being surrounded by others
It sounds corny, but touch base with yourself. Personally, my social stamina has dropped since the start of the pandemic, and signing up to loads of social events and FaceTimes and Zooms can be a little exhausting, although I do enjoy this contact time, especially my seminars! Feeling involved doesn’t have to be zooming all the time, but it can be dropping emails or messages to professors and peers to stay connected.
Overall – make the most of the resources available to you, and if you don’t know what they are, ask! Put yourself out there with your classmates – you can enrich your own academic experience by engaging with others.