Getting acclimated to the new college environment is difficult, especially if you choose a large college. I spent my first week feeling completely lost and at the same time frustrated, because I just wanted to feel like I belonged there. Fortunately, I have some tips that should help you find your place!
1. Be yourself.
This may sound like a really basic concept, but it’s vital. If you lie about a few things in high school or middle school, people overlook it. College, however, is the big league. If you try to fake your way through it, people will know that you’re being deceitful, and they’ll stay away from you. College is a fresh start, and you don’t want to start off on a bad note.
2. Talk to everyone.
Talk to the person sitting next to you on the campus bus. Talk to the workers at the dining hall. Talk to students in your classes. Talk to your professors. It’s less about being “overly friendly,” and more about collecting pieces of wisdom. Every person that you have the opportunity to get to know will teach you something. Act like a sponge and absorb the knowledge that you are given.
3. Ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask for aid or advice when you need it, especially from upperclassmen. Since they’ve been at your college for multiple years, it’s more than likely that they have tips and tricks to share. Asking questions is always important when you get lost, as well. If someone is willing to help you, don’t pass that up!
4. Get involved.
At a big college, there are going to be tons of activities that you can join. Trying out for a sports team and securing your spot is a great way to be part of a community and make friends. Maybe you’re more tech savvy and want to join a film production club. Maybe you want to rekindle a passion of acting by auditioning for a play. Participating in an endeavor – no matter the route – allows you to pursue a passion, as well as consort with individuals who share that same passion.
5. Join Greek life.
If you still don’t feel like you can find your place, you might want to consider rushing a fraternity or sorority. It’s a long process, but it may help you find that family that you’re looking for.
6. Don’t worry about cliques.
College isn’t really like Mean Girls, so you don’t have to worry about adapting to a label. You can be a saxophone playing quarterback with a love for cooking, if you want to be. I guess what I’m trying to say is that although you can choose to be a specific person, you don’t have to be one specific thing. Big colleges really give you the opportunity to test out numerous outlets in order to figure out who you are and what you want.
7. Just live it up.
Overall, you’re going to have four or so years to find your way
. As long as you’re open to new possibilities, you should be fine. Enjoy yourself!
What other ways can help you find your place on a big college campus? Comment below!
Featured image source: scissorsandthread.
I'm a sophomore at Rutgers University. I love to listen to music and read :)