Impacts of the pandemic on college students' sense of belonging

Credit: Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

People have a fundamental human need to belong. Especially during transitions to a new environment like college, people often worry about whether they belong, even in non-pandemic times. With so many classes and social interactions shifted to a staid online setting, which precludes hallway conversations and tacit knowledge transfer, students may now experience more uncertainty about their belonging in a new environment.

In this post, Penn State’s Maithreyi Gopalan and Wake Forest’s Shannon Brady ask what can higher education institutions, faculty and staff do to help foster college students’ sense of belonging, which might be even more fragile during these challenging times.

For more, visit the Insights from Experts website — a partnership of Penn State's Social Science Research Institute and the Center for Health Care and Policy Research.

Last Updated November 18, 2020