Social Transitioning for College Freshmen
- Your first emotion may be fear, but try to convert that anxiety and use the adrenaline to explore the world outside of parents, teachers, and friends. Use this time to get to know yourself – who you are and who you want to become.
- Be yourself! You’re not confined by cliques anymore, so find people who like the things you like and really embrace the freedom of enjoying things you may have not been able to do under that high school microscope of the “in-crowd.”
- Be proactive. Consider one or more of the following:
- Attend events on campus. This is a great way to meet people. This is how I met my best friend, and we have been the best of friends since the day we met so many years ago.
- Join organizations. What better way to make a difference in the community and find people who are dedicated to doing that with you?
- Form a study group or join one. You can form a study group with random friends, and you can all study your own subjects to be sure you’re getting work done before you play; or you can form a group for a specific class which is useful in better understanding the material by getting other perspectives.
- Initiate conversations. I’ll be honest this is a tough one, but once you start doing it, you realize that everyone is just as nervous as you are, and you were the one to break the silence. The best approach (without being too intrusive) is to ask questions like “Where are you from?” and “What are you studying?” These usually lead to other questions and before you know it, you’re scheduling a coffee date.
- Find a job. If you can manage working and maintaining your grades, this is a great way to get to know people and the city you are in (if you are away from home). I wouldn’t recommend getting a job in the first semester because you probably want to get a feel for how your schedule works, where you can fit study time in, and when you will be socializing. The second semester is safest to look for work, but if you can manage waiting until your second year, you can focus on doing well in your classes. I found a job on campus during my second year and met so many new people.
- Be open to other perspectives. This is a chance for you to grow, so look for those teachable moments in which you don’t close your eyes or your ears to what or who is different from you.