If you can’t remember the last time that you spent time with your friends to relax and have fun, it’s been too long! Maintaining your social life as a distance learning student can be a challenge, but with just a bit of planning and the right attitude, it doesn’t have to be impossible.


Here are a few tips on how to maintain your social life as a distance learning student:


– Plan ahead

Mark all of your assignment due dates and exam dates on a calendar, and plan out your study times around them. Then mark any dates where you would be able to take the day, or even just the evening, off. Contact your friends and family to ask which of your off days would suit them, and make plans to meet up.


Also read: How to Design a Study Schedule for Your Distance Learning Course


– Meet up with your study group

Joining or starting a study group with people who are also studying via distance learning is a great way to build a network and a support system. It is also a great way to make new friends. You could plan study sessions together and reward yourselves by going out and doing something fun and relaxing together afterwards. As a study group, you can help each other out with coursework and celebrate your achievements together. It’s sure to make your study period more fun!


– Think outside the box

Being social doesn’t always have to involve partying until the sun comes up… You can also host a dinner party or a braai at your house, or pack a picnic basket and set off for a spot where you can enjoy a day outside. You can even get your friends or family together for an informal photo shoot — it can be loads of fun, and you will have the memories forever!


– Pick up the phone

If you can’t get around to meeting up with family or friends as often as you’d like to, why not give them a quick phone call to catch up? We know airtime is expensive, but a 5-minute conversation over the phone with your best friend could work out much cheaper than spending money on transport to meet up somewhere.

Plus, you always feel rejuvenated after having a chat with someone you love — which means that you’ll have more energy to tackle your assignments afterward!


– Indulge yourself

As a distance learning student, chances are that you probably have a full-time job or family responsibilities that keep you busy aside from your studies.

If you’re a dedicated student, you could find it hard to put down the books and to socialise when you have so little time to study in the first place.

But taking a bit of time off to do the things that you enjoy will only benefit you in the long run. So allow yourself to say yes to social invitations once in a while.


How do you maintain your social life as a distance learning student? Let us know in the comments box below!


Note: This article was originally published on 18 January 2016, and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.