Finding your niche in college can be quite a challenge. It’s like kindergarten all over again. It’s intimidating, the idea of starting all over in a new place with new people. But you can also look at it as an opportunity; an opportunity to grow and expand who you are. College is like a playground in which you have the potential to try out new things and it’s never too late to expand, so here are a few tips if you’re looking to branch out.
1. Join a club.
Every college has a plethora of clubs you can join whether you’re interested in photography, enjoy cooking or are into politics. There is a club for you. Most colleges have events the first week of school that introduce you to these clubs, so make sure you go! If not, don’t fret! Do your research and find out what clubs you would like to join. Clubs allow you to meet people with similar interests which makes it easier to relate to each other.
2. Join a sorority or fraternity.
Greek life is pretty popular among most colleges and a great way to branch out. Sororities and fraternities are a great way of meeting a lot of people and making connections. Greek life isn’t for everyone, so don’t feel the pressure, but it doesn’t hurt to at least attend some of the events or even rush, and if you decide it’s not for you, you always have the choice of dropping.
3. Use the resources your college offers you.
There are endless resources on campus, you might as well use them. You have 4 years, why not make the most of what your college offers you? The library has an endless amount of books you can use to expand and build on your knowledge on pretty much anything you can think about. Your professors are there to guide you, don’t feel intimidated, ask questions! You will grow more as a person if you put yourself out there, rather than sticking to your comfort zone.
4. Go to parties.
Parties are a great way to socialize and meet new people. Go with a group of friends, and you’ll potentially meet new people you might end up really liking. You’ll expand your social circle plus you’ll have a fun night!
5. Join study groups.
Study groups are a great way to get to know your peers as well as study in smaller groups. Your peers are there to help you. Many times studying with different people allows you to see different perspectives, which allows you to grow as a person and possibly change your mind about things. Also, it’s a great way to build relationships with people, especially when you’re cramming for an exam. (Trust me, stress shows you all sides of people)
6. Get involved with school events.
Be passionate about your college and attend the events that are planned. Grab your friends and get out there! It’s a great way to do something different plus you’ll meet a bunch of people at these events.
7. Keep your door open and get to know your hall mates/suite mates.
More times than not, your hall mates/suite mates are in the same boat as you. They’re all in the same position of wanting to meet new people and make friends. Be welcoming and keep your door open, you’ll be surprised by all the people that come by and simply say hi! Expanding your social circle will be easier when people see that you’re open and easy to talk to.
8. Be experimental and take a new, different class.
In high school, most of us were limited as to what classes we could take. However, in college, the amount of different courses that are offered is actually sometimes overwhelming. This is your opportunity to branch out and take a class you might be interested in but isn’t necessarily something you thought you’d pursue. Taking that class could potentially spark and interest in you, or teach you something completely new.
9. Don’t stick to your high school friends
College is a scary place, so of course it’s nice to see familiar faces, but don’t stick to them especially for the first couple of weeks. If you’re really looking into expanding, sticking to your old group of friends isn’t really going to get you anywhere. Put yourself out there and you’ll be surprised who you meet.
10. Try out the fitness classes your school offers.
Check out the gym on campus, they offer a variety of different classes, whether you’re looking to do high intensity workouts like HIIT or need to relieve some stress with yoga. They offer classes for all levels of fitness plus it’s a good way to avoid that Freshman 15 and get in some exercise in a fun way. This is also an opportunity to turn your new friend into a workout buddy!
11. Be yourself.
The most important thing to do is stay true to yourself. You attract the energy that you put out into the world. If you’re looking to branch out, you want to branch out the right way and if you forget who you are, then you’re not going to be attracting the right type of people. Use this time to grow and expand, but do not forget who you are and what you value.