Go to the University of Toronto home page
Go to Student Life homepage
Feeling distressed? Click for help

Online social group helps students connect during pandemic

Students walking on subway platform wearing masks
Photo: Keira Burton on pexels.com

Posted May 10, 2021

By Kirsty Clarke

The isolation of the global pandemic can mean that you haven’t had a chance to connect easily with other U of T students. Talking to New People is an online social group where approximately 8 students from the same academic level are matched with a peer facilitator. Once a week for four weeks the group meets, talks, participates in activities and gets to know each other.

Sidharth, a 2021 grad student participant, said: “The meetings were a lot of fun, the people who attended were all exciting and fun to talk to! It gave me a nice break from the monotonous lifestyle that the pandemic has set.”

It can be awkward at first but as the weeks progress it gets, less awkward and more than half the participants say they have stayed in touch with other group members.

“Getting to meet and know new friends especially in a new country is definitely one of the best things about this program. Everyone I’ve met so far is nice and I even relate to them on a personal and professional level. The program made it very easy for me to network with fellow students which is extremely valuable,” said Abdelrahman, a 2021 first-year student participant.

There is one session in July. Go to Talking to New People to fill out an application. July group applications are due June 21. This group runs from the week of July 5 to the week of July 26 (1.5 hours each week, date and time will be based on group availability).