Our purpose is to enable the success of all Deakin students by developing and providing diverse, practical and efficient services, resources and facilities.
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.
- Have a movie night. Get a group together and have a Netflix Party! This computer platform has a chat function so you can gossip about the plot after (or during!) the film.
- Watch the footy. Gather your friends over the phone and unleash your angst while you get your AFL fix online.
- Get your game on. Narrate your way in real-time with new and old gaming pals online – here are some great game suggestions for beginners through to serious connoisseurs.
- Indulge your inner foodie. Join this Colombian street food masterclass, hosted tonight (Friday 28 August) by chef Juan Berbeo of Melbourne’s renowned Berbeo Bros.
- Support small business. Browse the wares at the Airey’s Inlet Virtual Market for various goodies from the Great Ocean Road region.
- Get strategic. Why not show your dad who’s boss over a game of online chess for Father’s Day on 6 September?
- Plot an escape. We can’t evade lockdown but you can pool your knowledge and test your wits with friends and family in an online escape room experience!
- Marvel at the natural world. You can explore a range of exhibits at the Melbourne Museum from the comfort of home.
- Trying to temper your travel bug? Access virtual tours of overseas attractions online, including the Louvre, the Smithsonian Museum and even Machu Picchu.
- Go stargazing. The Mount Burnett Observatory is hosting a monthly guided tour of our night skies, beginning on Friday 4 September.
- Soak in some jazz. Talented Surf Coast pianist Callum Watson is treating us to live-streamed performances each week in September.
- Cheer on the penguins! Phillip Island’s beloved Penguin Parade is now being live-streamed each night (the launch attracted a whopping 770,000 viewers!). The Melbourne Zoo is also live-streaming a range of animals to brighten your day.
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 Together@Facebook 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:
- Deakin’s 2020 new students (if you’ve just commenced this year)
- Deakin’s International Students
- Cloud Campus Facebook group (if you’re an existing Cloud Campus student)
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.
- Deakin’s Counselling and Psychological Support (CAPS) service can provide you with confidential support via real-time telehealth appointments.
Visit our Ask Counselling blog to see what issues other students have been struggling with, and for advice from Deakin counsellors.
- You can also seek confidential help externally by calling Lifeline (13 11 14) at any time – 24 hours per day, 7 days per week on any day of the year.
Find out more about how you can access a range of support services, both here at Deakin and in the community.