By: Annique Jones, University of Colorado Boulder
When you first arrive on your college campus you’re either expecting your experience to be just like what you saw on your favorite college girl movie or you’re secretly terrified and don’t know what to expect, but you’re playing the cool kid role in front of mom and dad. For me, when I arrived on campus I had no idea about the city I was in or the campus that was my new home. From my own experience, here are some tips and tricks when it comes to making the most of your college experience.
Say, “Hi!” and smile.
When you arrive on campus, everyone is in the same boat as you and all want to make friends. The people you see in your dorm or in your hall, you live with those people now. Don’t make yourself miserable by not making friends and hoping that they will come to you, put yourself out there; a simple, “hey” and a genuine smile can spark a conversation landing you a life long friend. Who know, you may have something in common, but you don’t know until you try.
Walking into your first college lecture can be both exciting and nerve racking. The same making friends concept that applies to living in the dorms applies in the classroom too. Introduce yourself to your professor and make it a point for them to know who you are. You don’t have to be participating with every single question asked, but do participate. Aside from knowing your professor, make friends with your classmates at least one. You never know when you will need class notes after a missed lecture and the professor purposely doesn’t post the slides online.
Go to on campus events.
There are A LOT of silly on campus events that seem juvenile. You may think, “That’s dumb; I’m not going to that, I’m in college now” but with that attitude, you’re definitely missing out. At my university, semesterly we have a midnight breakfast. When I first heard of this, I had the I’m too cool for that attitude and I missed out. Every semester since, I have attended and it is a blast! At on campus events no matter how silly or intimidating they may seem you have the chance to make connections and most times you get free food. What college kid is going to pass up free food?
Join a club or organization.
The easiest way to make friends and stay connected is to join a club or organization. Whether it is greek life, the honors program, an organization related to your culture or an organization that relates to a hobby, like chess club. Go to the involvement fairs on campus and sign up for the things that interest you without worrying about what your new friends are signing up for. Joining a club that you are genuinely interested in will provide you with the necessary connections that are right for you!
Leave your door open, both literally and figuratively.
When living in the dorms, leave your door open when you are in the room of course. This will allow people to stop by and say hi. There is no need to be lonely in college if you put yourself out there. Keep an open mind and don’t be so quick to judge in college. There are many perspectives for one simple situation!