College can be super exciting, but also super scary. There’s thousands of new people and when starting classes, you probably will not know many people. That fact alone can definitely push people out of their comfort zone and put people in the wrong mentality starting college. The best advice I can give anyone is to just talk to someone! Although this sounds scary, everyone is in the same boat. Sure, people may know a few kids from high school, but most people do not know a large group of people. Meeting new people may not come easy to everyone, but if definitely can make or break your college experience.
The first time you will probably interact with all or many of your classmates is orientation! At my university, we had the opportunity to choose between four different orientations, so I knew when I arrived at school I would be seeing a small portion of my classmates. At my orientation, initially I was miserable. My two-night experience began rocky. The first day I felt that I couldn’t connect with. As the hours ticked on into the night, I had a pit in my stomach. If this was how my first year was going to go, then it was not going to be great. My luck then started to change.
It started getting later and later in the night and I was heading back to my room when I noticed a group of people sitting out on the ground playing cards. I took a chance and headed over, just asking if I could play. I’m so thankful I reached out and sat down with them, because now the same group of kids are some of my best friends. If I hadn’t reached out at orientation, I probably would have never met them at school! Take a chance and reach out, because you may never know who will become your best friends.
Meet people in your classes! This is honestly such an overlooked tip. At my school, all Freshmen have to go through a gateway program of six classes that every freshman has to take at one point or another. Through talking to different people in my classes, I discovered a group of us had three or four classes together. Because I go to a business school, we heavily rely on group work in order to prepare ourselves for the real world. After realizing this, we devised a plan to work together for all the group projects that our common classes had. I was extremely lucky because my new friends were all dedicated and motivated to getting our work done and it helped with our group dynamic. The next semester we tried to make our schedules match as best we could which led to us taking a few classes together again. Talking to people in my classes definitely panned out for me, and hopefully it would for you to.
The last place where I met a significant number of new people was at work. I work in Intramurals at my school and I score keep and keep statistics for the different games that students can play. It’s student run so our managers are upperclassmen, making the environment extremely relaxed. I definitely took advantage of this when being at work. I’ve met so many great people by stopping by and saying hi to my co-workers. We’ve all gotten used to working with each other and I consider them to be some of my great friends. The advice they’ve given me has been priceless from relationships to scheduling my classes, I know I can always count on them to give me advice.
Talking to people at school can literally make or break your college experience. If you don’t really connect to any of the people that you initially meet- don’t get discouraged. Just be friendly and keep trying. I promise, eventually you will meet a group of people you’ll call your best friends.