When studying online you may feel detached from the school you are enrolled at. Studying remotely doesn’t automatically mean you wouldn’t want to feel as a part of a community. Fortunately, it is possible to get to know your school better even online!

Many schools around the world want to give their on-campus students a sense of being a part of something big and a part of a community. It, of course, gives students more pride in their choice of school, but it also helps students pass all courses in time. Being in contact with other students and hearing about their progress creates peer-pressure that pushes you to study harder.

As an online-student you don’t always get that feeling. In my experience, without that feeling, it is easier to fall behind in your schedule and to even drop out of school or drop a class. As a person interested in personal development, you clearly don’t want that. Luckily, nowadays most schools offer some information about their history, faculty, campus, research, student life, etc. on their website. This way you can get to know the school even if you are not able to visit it. The quality of schools’ websites and the information provided varies tremendously, but if done right, even this online information can help you feel as a part of the community.

A WORLD-FAMOUS SCHOOL AS AN EXAMPLE

You naturally want to check out your own school online, but I have chosen one school as an example here: Harvard. By no means is Harvard the only school that offers plenty of information online, but one event a couple of weeks ago made me write about Harvard. I’ll get to that a bit later.

First, I want to mention that I am not a student at Harvard University. I chose this school as an example simply, because they offer so much information online that it actually is possible for online students to get to know the school a little bit even though visiting the campus may not be an option.

WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION YOU CAN FIND ABOUT YOUR SCHOOL?

I thought it would be great to give as an example a school that is so well-known that I don’t have to introduce it first. If, however, you are not familiar with Harvard, you can start by reading their About-page. Most schools have an About-page, but not all of them have as much information on their page as Harvard has on theirs.

Reading an About-page is an obvious way to get to know a school. So, what else can you do?

Harvard College offers a virtual tour, where you can look around the campus, and “see” e.g. the John Harvard Statue, Widener Library, Annenberg Hall, and Harvard Stadium. The campus is being showcased with pictures and there’s a person telling you something about each step of the tour. You can also choose to read the introductions instead of listening them. If you are particularly interested in Harvard Business School, you can find a quite similar tour on their website. You can choose between an MBA tour, an Executive Education tour, and a Doctoral tour.

However, the event that made me write about Harvard in this post was a free Student-Led Virtual Historical Tour of Harvard I attended a couple of weeks ago. It was conducted via Zoom. There were two students telling about the history of the university. The history part was, of course, mostly information you could find online without a tour like this, but people were able to ask questions during the tour and I really enjoyed the students’ own stories and experiences. I would have liked to listen to them even longer! This kind of live virtual tour was the first one I had seen and I thought it is a great idea! Having said that, there are not many upcoming tour dates updated on their website and unfortunately, I don’t know how many of these they are planning on organizing. Nonetheless, you can check, if you are able to take part in one of them. The calendar seems to be updated every now and then, so if none of the dates offered at the moment are good for you, I recommend checking the options again on another day.

Last, but definitely not least, most schools have also some kind of a newspaper or social media platforms they use to publish news. Harvard has Harvard Gazette as their official news website. In addition to the latest news, it also covers topics like events, campus life, business, economics, world affairs, and technology. Yet, this is not the only channel for them to communicate news. Harvard can be found for example on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/harvard), Twitter (https://twitter.com/harvard), and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/harvard/). So, something for everybody! Even if you are not interested in Harvard per se, you can take ideas from this post and find more information about your own school! To me, searching for this kind of information has been a great help in staying motivated when studying alone at home, so I hope you got some ideas to help you get to know your school and stay motivated as well!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I am writing from my own experience as an online learner and from my own point of view. The opinions expressed in this post are solely mine and therefore subjective. The options mentioned in this post were available at the time this was written, but I cannot guarantee they will be available in the future.