Attending school online can be a very different experience than getting an in-person education. After 2020, I think we all know that! I wasn’t sure how BSSM would facilitate connection among students online, nor was I sure how connected I’d truly feel.
As it turned out, there were many avenues to connection as a BSSMO student, and I was pleased with how well I was able to connect with many of my fellow students!
Here’s my advice to you based on what helped me most:
Start a group chat on Facebook, iMessage, or WhatsApp for your small group. My group uses WhatsApp to accommodate our international students, and this has really helped us build community. Our group chat is active several times a week, if not daily.
Friend your small group members and revival group members on Facebook. I’m friends with several of mine, and they have become the friends who engage with my content the most! As a bonus, I’ll occasionally find prophetic words in my inbox. 😊
Host regular Zoom meetings open to any of your RG classmates just to chat and process what you’re all learning. One of my classmates started a “pre-RG hangout” at the beginning of the year where we met for 30 minutes to an hour each week before our RG. This was hands-down the thing that helped me connect with others the most and I am so appreciative of my friend for organizing this! Meeting ahead of time also helped this introvert ease into the larger group meeting instead of jumping right into a virtual room of 30 people.
Take advantage of the Facebook groups for your RG and online student body.
Participate in the chats during sessions, especially in RG.
Continue meeting after school is over. That’s the benefit of online school – you don’t have to stop! My RG has chosen to keep meeting through the summer at the same time we’d been meeting all year, and it’s been great to stay connected and continue processing everything we learned in First Year. We are currently going through the book Kingdom Foundations, reviewing one chapter per week since we didn’t get much time to dive deep into this book during the school year. We also have time for testimonies, worship, and prayer each week, similar to the way our RGP facilitated our group all year. Back when I was in college, I felt like I graduated just about the time I’d finally found my place and made good friends. With online school, I get to continue connecting with the people I’ve gotten to know all year instead of saying goodbye after graduation!
Connection is definitely possible in an online school, but it may take a little extra effort and creativity. With some intentionality, I know you’ll be able to form great connections with the others in your class.
Hey! I'm Brianna and I'm a millennial. I'm also a reader, writer, God-lover, introvert, and recovering perfectionist. ☺️
I want to inspire millennials to retain their morality, hope, and faith as they transition into adulthood and full-fledged "adult."