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28 August 2020

When did you last share a fun and meaningful experience with others during lockdown?

How have you been staying connected to others while we’re in isolation? Perhaps you’ve attended some online events with your fellow students? Have you been checking in with your friends and family by phone, videoconferencing calls, emails and/or messages to say hi and stay up-to-date?

While it’s great that many of us are finding novel ways to stay in touch at this point in time, we’ve noticed a distinct shift in the quality of the time we’re spending with others.

Sharing experiences matters

It’s important to acknowledge that even though we may be connecting with others online, it is possible that we can still feel alone. Despite having an array of digital tools to contact our friends and family, the somewhat passive nature of attending large online events or only relying on intermittent calls means our conversations may not have the opportunity to reach beyond the depths of small talk (or COVID talk!). 

We are social creatures by nature and we find meaning in our lives through storytelling, problem-solving and sharing experiences with others. Feeling a sense of belonging and true connection to others around us is critical to both our mental and physical wellbeing.

So where does true connection spring from? It’s the result of the natural spontaneity that arises when we come together to learn something, explore a new place, try something different, debate a question, negotiate a problem, compete in a game, or simply break into laughter over a wry observation.

Ready to try something new?

Here’s a list of some of our picks for interactive platforms and upcoming online events to get you talking, learning and enjoying good company with the people in your life.

Many organisations are finding inventive ways to keep us engaged online, so start exploring and let us know what you enjoyed.

Stay connected to your peers at Deakin

Remember to join our interactive events with your fellow students next week during DUSA’s U Belong Week (Monday 31 August–Friday 4 September), which includes a social catch-up, sports trivia night and a workshop in which you’ll learn how to create your own stylish COVID face masks.

Want to learn Bollywood dance choreography and get fit at the same time? The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment has organised a BollyStruck session on Thursday 10 September from 5–6pm. Presented by certified BollyX Instructor Priya Harkare, join us for an equipment-free, fun-filled workout that’s guaranteed to make you break a sweat! All are welcome but there are limited places so registrations are essential.

Make sure you also join and check in on the [email protected] group to find plenty of hints and tips for succeeding in your studies, to ask any questions you might have about studying online, or even just to have a chat and a giggle. You can also follow Deakin Life on Facebook or Instagram, or join any of the following Facebook groups that are relevant to you:

Are you (and those around you) OK?

The COVID-19 pandemic has also added layers of uncertainty, fear and bad news to our everyday lives. R U OK? Day is next week on Thursday 10 September and we encourage you to ask people you know the simple question: ‘Are you okay?’ Reaching out, staying connected and having meaningful conversations is something we can all do. You don’t need to be an expert – just a good friend and a great listener.

Remember we’re here if you need to talk

Please reach out for help if you need support for your mental health or would like to talk to someone. 

Find out more about how you can access a range of support services, both here at Deakin and in the community

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