7 things to do if you’re struggling with learning online and lacking 1:1 peer contact

If you’re missing being able to speak to your friends after class to share notes and chat through the work set, you are not alone, and these feelings are entirely normal.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel now when it comes to attending in-person classes, but we don’t know for sure when that will be yet. In the meantime, don’t suffer more than you have to. These seven ideas could help ease the stress that comes from that lack of face-to-face contact.

1. Stay in touch with your peers

Even though talking on the phone or online just isn’t the same as in-person, try to keep in touch with your classmates outside of online lessons. No doubt everyone feels the same and would like someone else to chat to about their studies. Drop a classmate a text or an email to get a conversation started.

2. Get involved with AAT Discussion forums

There are over 18,000 discussions on the AAT Discussion forums for AAT students, so you’re bound to find some interesting topics to read about and contribute to. It’s a great place to ask a question or start a conversation. You can chat about your AAT studies, revision tips or your plans after you’re qualified. You can sell old textbooks and even find a study buddy.

3. Plan an event

Plan a virtual event with other students. You could test each other or plan something fun like a quiz evening. If you live near any other students, see if they fancy a walk to chat about your studies together. It could also be an excellent idea to plan something for the future to look forward to, like meeting up for a drink when you can.

4. Organise a call

Phoning people up has become a bit of a lost art. But one that has reemerged with the pandemic and can’t be underestimated. Phone calls and video calls can help you feel connected and can break the monotony of the day. You could even have a video call study

session for an hour or two together online where you both work simultaneously and are there if the other has any questions.

5. Be social on social

A great way to get involved in groups and networking on social media platforms is by encouraging other people and helping them out when you can. What goes around, comes around, and you can then ask other people to help you. At first, you will feel like the newbie, but if you keep showing up with positivity, then you will forge real friendships with people in no time at all. There are some great AAT forums out there for AAT students as well as bitesize content available on Facebook and Instagram.

6. Start your own thing

Think of what would help you right now because no doubt it would help other people too. Someone just needs to start it, and that someone could be you. You could start an online weekly study club, a Whatsapp group, a Slack channel or a regular group video call. You only need one or two other people to get something going.

7. Ask for help

Think about how you feel when somebody asks you for assistance with something, and you help them. It feels great, doesn’t it? Almost everybody enjoys helping somebody out, so by asking for help, you’re doing someone a favour. Whether it’s help with a topic you’re stuck on, a practice exam question, or you just fancy a chat, just ask.

If you’re feeling a bit lonely, do take some action and don’t suffer in silence. By reaching out to someone, you will help them too.

Further reading:

Sophie Cross is a freelance writer and marketer specialising in business and travel. She is the editor for London Revealed magazine and her clients include lastminute.com Group and Merlin Entertainments.

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