For many online students, it can be difficult to stay connected and involved with the things going on at our university. However, staying connected within the Sun Devil Nation is not as complicated as it appears at first. I pinky promise!
Use social media to build connections
There are amazing groups on Facebook, such as Sun Devils Connect, that bring ASU students from every major together. Those who are beginning their journey as incoming first-year students, students transferring in, those in grad school and more can all join this page and connect. The group provides a platform to ask questions and voice concerns, and other students and even faculty will jump in and clarify things.
Many degree programs set up their own pages, which allows students to create discussions specific to their majors and connect with classmates for study groups, extra help or even tutoring. You can join the virtual study groups even if they aren’t specific to your major. The people you’ll meet are amazing. The organizational leadership (OGL) students have a Facebook group called Sun Devil Leaders that has been great for me to build connections with fellow OGL classmates.
I am active on social media for work, so I connect via Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn a lot with other Sun Devils. There are a ton of clubs and organizations that are open to online and on-campus students. Some of the clubs that help foster connection include:
- BeYouASU: LGBTQIA Sun Devils and allies
- CodeDevils: Students with a passion for coding.
- ASU Online Student Government Advocacy Group (OSGAG): Provide peer mentorship, unity, inclusion, student organization awareness and a voice within the university education system.
- Sun Devils Online Debate Club: Discuss and debate real world issues that affect our daily lives.
Reach out to faculty members
When unable to meet in person with faculty members, my favorite ways to connect with them are via email and Zoom. If an instructor has office hours on their syllabus, reach out and ask to set up a Zoom so you can meet them virtually. I know it can be a little nerve-wracking, but it'll be worth it. If you’re struggling with a concept or topic, check to see if the course has a community forum, because those are great at connecting with classmates as well as TAs and instructors. I promise that it gets easier once you send the first email.
Meet with your success coach
Success coaches also help foster those connections to the university by building relationships, guiding you to clubs and programs and helping you find certain resources. They can even instruct you on who to reach out to with questions and for guidance as you plan your goals. Another connection that I’ve only recently started looking into is the ASU Mentor Network, which is a great way to connect professionals with the Sun Devil community.
Attend virtual events
For me, social media is one of the easiest ways to stay connected, and following several ASU pages has helped to support my educational experience. There are many virtual events that online students can be a part of, and if you have the Sun Devil Rewards app, you can even earn pitchforks for those events to win awesome swag. I run around with the ASU insulated tumbler I earned all the time.
As online university students, we’re constantly on our computers, but we can still feel disconnected from the world around us. It’s important to take the time to find other individuals and groups that we can connect with to make the online school experience a little easier. I hope you find these sources helpful and are able to connect with your fellow classmates!