How to Make Friends at a Private Online High School
November 11, 2022
Despite the many advantages, some parents still worry online school students won’t be able to make friends and build relationships as readily as they would in a traditional school.
It is reassuring to know that online students can, and do, make friends in ways that mirror, and even enhance, friendships created in brick and mortar schools.
Having to make friends in a slightly different manner can even help students build strong emotional intelligence, have a more diverse circle of friends, and be more accepting of others.
At the nationally ranked Dwight Global, students meet friends through:
- Live class experiences
- Non-academic activities
- Extracurricular activities outside of school
An excellent online high school will cultivate a strong sense of community and make it an integral part of each school day. Students have opportunities to talk outside of the classroom: during homeroom, clubs, extracurricular activities, and during collaborative study groups.
Online high school students are encouraged to:
- Introduce themselves and participate in class discussions
- Respond to online discussion board posts
- Reach out to classmates about school work
- Start, or join, an extracurricular club or activity
- Form a study group
- Host a game night or movie night
- Add new friends on social media
Students can also make friends outside of school through volunteer work, community service, recreational sports, and part-time jobs in the areas where they live.
Beatrice Badino, a competitive skier and student at Dwight Global Online School, can attest to friendships created and sustained as an online student. Badino lives in Italy and fell in love with skiing at age three. She dreams of competing for an American university after high school.
“One might think that since it is an online school it might be hard to make friends and have a community,” said Beatrice. “Instead, with all the activities, group projects, clubs, homeroom, and a lot more, I have made many friends, and we chat often outside of school.”
Online Middle School Friendships, too!
Beatrice, who started at Dwight Global as a middle schooler, also noted that Dwight Global places an emphasis on building strong, consistent, and abundant opportunities for interactive student involvement apart from academics.
Dwight Global’s house system is just one very important part of that social bonding, and Dean of Student Life Dr. Anthea Lake encourages students to become involved in all aspects of the school.
“Our students come from all over the world, but what they have in common is that they all want to learn while feeling a part of something bigger than themselves,” said Dr. Lake. “We may live in different time zones and countries, but we come together as one.”
About her friends, Beatrice agreed: “It's like school on the ground. We FaceTime and talk a lot.”
Dwight Global also offers students weekly advisories, a weekly newsletter, homeroom time, and a chance for students to work as student ambassadors; all activities where students get to be around each other in a non-academic setting.
Beatrice’s brother Gabriele is also a Dwight Global high schooler and a competitive skier. Their father, Marco Badino, provided his perspective as a parent of two online students:
“The kids appreciate the global network of schoolmates they are building around them, and we hope in the future they can leverage this network to be world citizens ready to face global challenges.”
Dwight Global Online School students can also take advantage of a unique among online schools: multiple opportunities throughout the year to visit Dwight physical campuses worldwide. Students can meet in person at Dwight School in New York to attend orientation, conferences, prom, performances, competitions, and other events and activities.
Find out more about Dwight Global Online School and its dynamic community here.