Is the circle culture over?

What happens to college student friendships September 21st, 21:59

I heard the news that

"the circle that was in college seems to be inactive"


Friendship, romance, copies of excellent student notebooks ... A university circle that taught me many things.

Now that the corona is terrible, we are facing a big crisis.

Some say that the classes are all online and that they have few college friends.

It has been more than a year and a half since the corona spread.

It may not be a thing for the changing communication of college students and working people.

(Osaka-based broadcasting station Daisuke Narita Network News Department Reporter Shinya Fujishima Natsumi Yoshinaga SNS Research Tomoharu Nakato)

Circle, I'm going to take a break

"The tennis club I belonged to when I was in college has stopped working."

There was such a post on my senior's Facebook page when I was in college.

I (Narita) was a college student 18 years ago, but at that time there were nearly 100 members.

In addition to tennis, when I go to class and free time in class, there is always someone there, and it is a place for interaction, and I still keep in touch with my friends at that time.

However, it is said that the number of students joining the circle has decreased recently, probably because the spread of SNS has made it easier for anyone to connect.

It was the corona wreck that chased it.

When I asked someone who knew the situation, they said that because the university classes were online, they lost the opportunity to recruit new students and the members did not gather as expected.

Training camps and tournaments are no longer held, and club activities are suspended.

Those who know what they have done so far have also retired, and the circle is virtually disbanded.

I felt a little sad.

"I don't think the circle culture will return."

"Unfortunately, I don't think the university's circle culture will return to what it used to be."

Last month, Professor Hajime Kidera of Meiji University tweeted this.

I am the Deputy Director of the Student Affairs Department, which has jurisdiction over circles.

At Meiji University, where about 30,000 students attend, there are about 300 sports and humanities circles, and about 80% of new students join each year.

However, last year, due to the influence of the new corona, the enrollment rate of new students dropped sharply to less than 10%.

This spring was the timing when the state of emergency was lifted, so we were able to conduct face-to-face solicitation activities, so it seems that the participation rate of the circle has returned to the same level as usual, but due to the subsequent spread of infection, we started activities. There are a number of organizations that are taking a break or going online.

It is said that the first grader has quit because he couldn't do what he wanted even after joining the circle.

The challenges will continue for senior students as well.

Second-year students who entered the school with Corona's illness do not have the know-how of face-to-face circle management.

Even if you try to rely on your seniors, the third and fourth graders who know face-to-face club activities are busy with job hunting and graduation thesis, and it is difficult to rely on them.

Professor Kidera finds it difficult to inherit the culture of the circle as before.

Former Professor Hajime Kidera, Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Meiji University

"Students have spent a year and a half with fairly strong restrictions during the very valuable period of their four years


university. The subjects and curriculum that the university can offer. There is a limit to this. While many people go to various worlds because of human relationships in the circle, it is a considerable loss for students to be deprived of their extracurricular student life. "

Second-year college student with anxiety

The disappearing circle culture.

University life has changed dramatically, and worries such as "I can't make friends" and "I don't have a place to stay" are spreading.

In July, when the National Federation of University Co-ops asked "Is university life fulfilling?" In a questionnaire targeting university students, nearly half, 44.7%, were "not fulfilling." Answered.

This is about four times the pre-Corona survey in the fall of 2019.

Among them, the one who was most worried was the second year of university.

When asked about "what they are

worried about," 39.2% of

second-year college students said

that they were ▽ "loneliness / anxiety that they were not connected to their friends."

▽ "Anxiety about changes in friendships" was 29.9%

, which was the highest value in all grades with 6 out of 8 items.

Last year, when the first state of emergency was declared, college life started, and from the beginning it was not possible to take face-to-face lectures like before, and club activities were totally banned, taking away the opportunity to make friends. It seems that the influence of being damaged is also great.

When I actually talked to a sophomore in college ...

2nd year college female student

"I still don't know what my original college life is like. I was totally banned from recruiting circles when I was in the 1st grade, so I have to join the circle in April of the 2nd grade to be friends for the rest of my life. I slipped in because I thought I couldn't do it, but I feel that there are many second-year students who haven't entered because it's too much trouble to enter. "

Female student in the second year of college

"I still have only a few friends after half of my second year in college, and I don't really feel the joy of college life. A place where friends share information such as job hunting and seminars. I have a lot of anxiety because I can't think about it alone and talk about my worries. "

2nd year college female student

"I think that the number of face-to-face lessons has increased in the current 1st grade compared to when we were in the 1st year, and we are able to make friends smoothly. I think that being alone in the previous term is a big barrier for the current second year students. "

Correspondence is a judgment for each university

What will happen to college life in the future?

The summer vacation is over and the university is reopening, but the response is left to the discretion of each school.

Keio University says that face-to-face lessons and online lessons will be used together after taking sufficient infection control measures.

Meiji University wants to operate on the premise of going to school, focusing on face-to-face classes, but plans to focus on online classes until October 10.

Yokohama National University says that in principle, online classes will be held until the end of October, and extracurricular activities will be strongly requested to refrain from activities in principle.

If you are going to a face-to-face competition, you must submit a plan to the university and get permission.

In small-group lectures and seminars, there is a movement to make it face-to-face, but in many cases, online classes are the main focus in order to determine the infection situation, and the impact is likely to continue for a while.

How to make friends with Corona

The influence of corona that will continue in the future.

How do college students now make friends and new places to live?

I asked the university students involved to give me some hints.

1 Using a virtual background to connect

with LINE or Instagram The most common method is to connect and interact with people you meet in class via LINE or Instagram.

There are cases where members of the department to which they belong form a group, and in some cases, QR codes such as LINE are displayed on the virtual background image during online classes to exchange contacts. ..

2 Search on Twitter and connect It

seems that many people used the hashtag "# Spring to XX University" to search for people to enter the same university even before enrollment.

If there is a person whose face and account match and who has a hobby with you, send a direct message to contact them.

Some said, "I don't usually do it, but I was impatient because I didn't have any friends, so I moved aggressively."

3 Participation in online exchange meetings In

some cases, we attended online events to deepen exchanges.

In some cases, we made friends at online game meetings, and in some cases, senior undergraduate students held multiple exchange meetings for junior students.

It seems that there are many strong students who make friends through SNS while there are restrictions on face-to-face interaction.

On the other hand, such a voice ...

A male student in the second year of university

"While neither LINE nor Instagram knows the other person's face, the main thing is to exchange only letters, so there were cases where the way of thinking and personality did not match when talking face-to-face."

2nd year college female student

"I could only talk online like a template, and I didn't know at all whether my hobbies, atmosphere, and wavelength would match. I think my friends in high school have a deeper relationship."

It seems that he really wants to interact face-to-face if possible.

It's never a thing

Professor Kidera of Meiji University points out that the corona sickness causes students to seek a place outside the university, but caution is required.

Professor Hajime Kidera

"Since the restaurant is closed now, students can't even work part-time. There was a consultation that they were invited by the scam to take advantage of such a situation and say,'I will teach you how to make money easily.'" increase"

"Although there are positive movements such as participating in internships, I am really worried about how the university can support students who are hungry for connections with people and have a feeling of loneliness, who can not do circles or part-time jobs. I'm out. "

The environment in which university students are currently located is by no means a matter of fact.

These students will graduate and join the company as adults.

Looking back on our own experiences, when I was in college, I had various experiences and encounters that led to my current job.

I feel that it is necessary to pay more attention to the voices of today's university students, whose "everyday" was no longer the norm at that time.