Ask Emma: How do I make friends with online classes?

People don’t always meet in classes; attend as many in-person, online events as you can



It’s safe to say the most people want to meet new friends during the first few months of school. During the time of COVID-19, Emma recommends meeting people outside of classes at both in-person and online events.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen columnist

Dear Emma,

Is it hard to make friends in college? I have a few really close friends from high school, but none of them are going to WSU with me. I’m worried I will close myself off to new people, or that I won’t have any opportunities because my classes are mostly going to be online. 

How do I succeed socially at WSU?

Please help,


Dear Friendly,

To answer your first question, in my experience, most people want to make friends as soon as possible. That does not necessarily mean it’s easy — it will always be more difficult for some than others — but it might give you peace of mind to know that everyone else is in the same boat as you, so you’ll have plenty of people to meet. 

It’s important for me to point out that you probably won’t make most of your friends in classes. You might, but a lot of people (including me!) meet them during Week of Welcome, in their residence halls, in student groups, in Greek life or in religious organizations. Don’t limit yourself to making friends in your classes. While it may be helpful academically and there’s nothing wrong with becoming pals with the person next to you, you will have more options by considering all the possibilities where you can meet new people.

Now, all of those opportunities may look different because of COVID-19, but I am confident they will still exist in some capacity. I won’t speculate about how different groups are planning to gather, but I suggest if you see an opportunity, seize it. 

If you go to all the Zoom gatherings or small in-person meet ups you can (or are comfortable with), you will meet a lot of friendly people. You don’t even have to continue going to those groups, but it can be really nice to find fellow Cougs with common interests. You may get tired of asking for people’s name, major and hometown, though. 

My point is, even though some of your classes are online, you will have ample opportunity to make friends at WSU. Try not to stress too much about it.

Additionally, many classes will have group chats, Facebook pages or chances for partner work even if they are online, which is something you may be able to utilize to meet people in similar courses. 

Another helpful tip: don’t worry if you meet a lot of people at once and don’t seem to be retaining any lasting friendships. It takes a little time, but if you keep a positive outlook and avoid closing yourself off to new people, I am sure you’ll make friends. 

Good luck! You’re going to do just fine.

Take care,


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