The online campus for college students refers to the use of social media to stay connected during the pandemic. Online formats such as Instagram, Discord, and group chats such as Loopchat have been used to keep students connected online. Students at Farmingdale State College found it harder to stay connected due to the lack of face to face contact. Ever since the lockdown from 2020, where the majority of classes at Farmingdale have been online based, the social life at Farmingdale has been scarce, with students feeling as though online formats are their only way to stay connected with other students.
Shannon Wylie, 20, sophomore professional communications student, had a hard time adjusting to the online social life at Farmingdale. Wylie graduated from high school in 2020 during the first year of the pandemic, she had no freshman orientation, and there were no opportunities for her to join any school clubs. “I felt very stranded and on my own,” Wylie said, as she felt directionless when it came to getting to know her peers at Farmingdale. She joined Snapchat at first to stay connected with Farmingdale but as the group got larger, the less friendly and engaging the chat became.
One friend of Shannon’s from the group chat had an even worse experience with the online campus life. “He was very unhappy with the social life at Farmingdale. He was so excited, he was all like ‘Go Rams’ and stuff, like in the very beginning, and he was so hyped for it and he was looking forward to the big presence of social life on the campus, when that was completely the opposite,” Wylie explained.
The one guaranteed way for Farmingdale students to stay connected has been joining groups. Kelly Wylie, 18, mechanical engineering technology student, has been helping students on campus stay connected online by launching a robotics club. Wylie mentions how the students were successfully able to stay connected, “We currently have a Groupme, where we constantly talk about all things, not just robotics.”
The club’s objective will be to help the students feel less alone and help them find their place on campus. “We are hoping to stay social through meetings, FaceTime calls, texting, and even hanging out together outside of school for people who really built a relationship,” Wylie replied.
The robotics club will provide an avenue for students with similar interests to join together, through both online forums and in person meetings, in order to improve the social life on the Farmingdale campus.
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