Can I talk to girls about casual things like school, exams, news, events? I’ve done some research myself but I wasn’t able to find a clear answer. The main reason I want to do this is to set a good relationship with some of my female classmates in order to not be left behind in regards to exam information and help in solving and understanding certain concepts. My class is pretty small and I’m not friendly with a lot of guys. So it would be a little strange to ask some of them for help when I never speak with them in usual circumstances. Also the more options I have for help the better. But obviously I want to be within religious guidelines.

If these casual talks don’t lead to humor/joking (since it’s haram with the opposite gender), charming words, development of feelings, or getting too close to them, then it’s ok. Otherwise, if you don’t think you can observe that with them, then it would be haram.