Advice From a College Senior: How to Make Friends When You’re Stuck at Home

Making new friends might seem to be increasingly difficult as we get older. Sometimes it seems like everyone else already has an established friend group. Especially now that we are in the middle of a global pandemic, it seems harder than ever to find safe ways to maintain a healthy social life. Here are tips for high school and college students to maintain connections with friends and make new friends during these unprecedented times.

How to stay connected with friends during the pandemic. (Twenty20@tehhydina)

7 ways to make new friends and stay connected to old ones

  1. Schedule a socially distanced walk
    • This is a fun way to combine exercise and socializing!
    • Select a meeting place and time and invite friends and acquaintances; ask them to invite others too.
    • A good place to go would be a park, track, or wide trail where everyone can socially distance.
    • Make sure everyone wears a mask and stays 6 feet apart at all times.
    • Schedule a walk weekly so it becomes part of everyone’s routine.
  2. Start a Zoom study group
    • A study group is a great way to meet people in your class and to master the class material.
    • You can either schedule these meetings weekly, or right before tests to study together.
    • At the beginning of each session do an icebreaker activity where each person shares a fun fact about themselves.
    • Leave time for socializing and getting to know each other either at the beginning or the end of your study session.
  3. Plan a Netflix watch party
    • Through the Google Chrome browser, you can stream Netflix with your friends and chat through typing online.
    • Instructions: Go to Choose the show you want to watch and start streaming the video. To create your party, click on the red “NP” icon located next to the address bar. Then click “Start Party” to get the party started, and share the party URL to invite your friends.
  4. Take a recreational Zoom class
    • What are you interested in? There are so many Zoom classes available–yoga, art, coding, dance, music, photography, cooking, etc. Find an online class and invite your friends and acquaintances to join you.
    • Meet with your friends via Zoom after the class and share what you did during the class and what you enjoyed most.
  5. Host a virtual trivia night
    • As the host, you’ll need to set up a Zoom meeting.
    • Invite people in advance and ask them to RSVP so you can form teams of 2-3 people each.
    • Create your own questions or search online for “trivia questions” to find numerous sites with suggested questions.
    • Once everyone joins the Zoom call, assign each team a breakout room to discuss answers.
    • Inform teams how long they have to discuss the answers before moving on to the next question (30-45 seconds).
    • Make sure people agree not to look up the answers! Everyone is on the honor system.
    • Each team keeps track of their answers to each question.
    • At the end of each round, go over the answers and have each team report how many points they earned for the round.
  6. Organize a Secret Santa… quarantine edition
    • Get a group of friends or even acquaintances! Randomly assign each person to someone else. Select a theme and within this theme, each person sends something to the person they are assigned. Ideas include a recipe they’ve tried, a board game they’ve played, a puzzle they’ve completed, a playlist they’ve made, a book they’ve finished, a box of candy or other goodies, a face mask, etc — just get creative and have fun! Pass along something you’ve enjoyed that would make this quarantine a little more bearable for a friend! (Make sure to set a price range and a time frame for sending the item.)
  7. Expand your horizons: find a pen pal
    • Become pen pals and maybe make a new long distance friend. You can find websites online to assign you a pen pal in another country, or contact a local senior citizen center which may be able to assign you a senior citizen pen pal.

I hope you find these ideas to be a helpful and fun way to have a social life while maintaining social distancing.

You Might Also Want to Read:

Why Social Distancing is So Difficult for Adolescents This is why it is so difficult for adolescents to maintain social distancing.

About Madeleine Korn

Madeleine Korn is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduating, she worked in marketing for a cybersecurity company for a year and a half. For the past year, she has been traveling the world while volunteering in hostels. Some of the countries she has visited include Portugal, Croatia, Greece, Albania, Cyprus, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and more. You can follow along with her travels on TikTok and Instagram. She loves writing and creating videos and really enjoys working for Grown and Flown!

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