Discovering the New Ways Students Socialize during ODL at St. Mary’s College Quezon City
Keywords:Socialization, Online distance learning, New students, Classmates, Coping mechanisms, coping
This study focused on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the socialization and coping mechanisms of new students transferring to schools in a virtual setting. The study employed a qualitative approach using inductive thematic analysis. Five informants were transferees to St. Mary’s College Quezon City. Most of the new students have experienced struggles with socializing with their classmates. They have encountered difficulties in socializing in the ODL setup. Participants were hesitant to connect with their classmates or initiate a discussion, and new students found it hard to fit in with their classmates. They feared social rejection and miscommunication, wherein students will feel self-doubt and insecurity.
Furthermore, the students’ coping techniques for dealing with their struggles in the new normal are diverse. It depends on how they feel and their experience. The study suggested that teachers should continue providing group activities and interactive opportunities for new students to socialize with their classmates and become familiar with the school climate. For future researchers, it is suggested to gather data from various educational institutes to understand how different school cultures can affect one’s socialization, to investigate if gender influences the way new students socialize during online distance learning, and not to restrict the age of interviewees to understand better how socialization develops over time.