Studying Online Doesn’t Have To Mean Missing Out On The Student Organization Experience

Published on: October 07, 2022

Contrary to popular belief, studying online doesn’t mean students spend all their time in solitude. While it is true that campus life makes it easier to create deeper connections with peers, online students have no reason to miss out. Technology has made it easy for students to enjoy the same socialization opportunities as they would at a brick-and-mortar school. Students can bond around shared interests, foster new friendships and interact with their peers thanks to virtual student organizations or clubs. Students might have to be a little more proactive in seeking out and joining these groups, but the results are usually worth the effort. Here are just a few examples of the types of student organizations and clubs that tend to be available to online students.

Academic Associations

Virtual academic associations are a great way to connect with other students who share the same major. Activities in these types of clubs center around academic subjects and could include guest speakers or networking activities. Many online learning institutions have their own local chapter for specific academic clubs. Students who excel at specific academic disciplines might also be able to join honor societies. 

Career Development Associations

Students who prioritize their careers can become members of virtual career development associations. These are geared toward helping students to prepare for their future careers after graduating. Activities may include development webinars, networking events, and opportunities for students to interact with industry professionals. 

Online Student Government Associations

Online student government associations exist to help provide a bridge between the student body and administration. Joining such an association can be great for students who want to gain leadership experience. In most cases, these associations have members that are elected along with some volunteers. Their task is to help online students feel connected and encourage them to engage and participate in activities. In turn, online student government association members can hone their skills to become more effective, ethical, and influential leaders. 

Volunteer and Community Service Clubs

It’s common for students to join campus community service clubs or volunteer their time for a good cause, but it is also possible to do so online. There are plenty of virtual volunteer opportunities available that allow students to volunteer from anywhere and help out with causes such as advocacy and human rights, animals, arts, culture, youth, seniors, and much more. Students can use their expertise to help out nonprofits, mentor people online, or team up with other members to organize special events. Activism-related activities can also be done on social media by students who want to help make the world a better place.    

Cultural and Diversity Organizations

Cultural and diversity organizations allow students to socialize and rally around the cultural elements with which they identify. Students can join these types of virtual organizations to broaden their understanding and appreciation of other cultures. Many of these types of organizations bond around elements such as food, language, and music. Students often also join these organizations for the support and advocacy that they can provide. It is usually a place where students can foster connections and find a sense of belonging.    

Sport Organizations

Studying online can make it challenging to participate in traditional sporting activities, but fortunately, organizations are available in the virtual space. From e-sports to chess, plenty of activities are available to students with a competitive spirit. Being a part of such an organization can also help students to stay motivated in their fitness endeavors. Some of these organizations even allow students to compete against each other in activities such as running, biking, or swimming by using shared apps to record times and distances or take part in fun challenges.   

Other Ways To Socialize

Of course, there are plenty of ways that students can hang out and socialize with online friends outside of virtual clubs and organizations too. Online services such as Zoom or Discord make it easy for students to stream videos that everyone in the group can watch together while chatting. Online gaming with voice chat is also another great way for friends to spend time together online while having fun. These can be anything from fast-paced shooters to strategy games and even popular board games that have online versions. Non-gamers can opt for virtual book clubs or art clubs to socialize with like-minded friends. There are also plenty of ways to live stream activities, so friends can share their adventures in real life without having to be present. 

Other Online Activities

In addition to all the social and student organization activities available online, there are plenty of virtual events in the online space. For example, some online universities offer students the opportunity to attend virtual career fairs where they can connect with organizations from across the country. Those that do not host their own often provide students with a list of vetted virtual career fairs they can attend. In addition, everything from online career counseling services to mock interview programs is often also offered by online universities as a service to students. 

Conclusion

Education, especially online learning, doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Along with the flexibility of self-paced learning, an online degree also offers plenty of opportunities for students to engage in as much or little socializing as they want. The organizations mentioned above are just some of the options that are available to students. There is obviously a lot of overlap between them too, so there’s no reason why students can’t hone their leadership skills while organizing activities with friends or building up networking opportunities while volunteering with others.  

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