This all started with the realization that campus, usually full of parties, games, clubs, and sports would look very different this year given the COVID-19 pandemic. One of our team members has a younger sibling going to college in Fall 2020 who wondered how he was supposed to make friends and be social when social distancing measures were enforced. After doing some initial research, need-finding through interviews, and surveying 280+ students, the seed for Columbia Connect was planted. 

Key insights:

  • The vast majority of students are nervous about making friends above all;
  • 66% of people put meeting other students as a 10 on the importance scale;
  • 90% of students surveyed want to be matched with other students.

After doing some more research on the best ways to create strong communities and meaningful connections between people, we came up with a survey that we feel effectively matches Columbia and Barnard students based on compatibility. After filling out the form and being matched in small groups, students will be able to talk to their matches in their own time. Don't worry, we want to reduce the awkwardness of these interactions as much as possible so each group will have four different sessions (moderated by super fun current students and designed to make the experience as enjoyable as possible) that students will be able to attend over a four-week period that will make the process of getting to know one another relaxing and enjoyable. You can also be randomly matched if you'd prefer that. 

We also host a weekly happy hour where students can meet more people outside of their matches. Find out more hereIf you have any other questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to reach out!