SOCIALIZING IN COLLEGE: ASK A GRADUATE Welcome to Ask a Graduate’s newest installment! Here, I respond to inquiries from readers about a variety of college-related subjects.
Ask a Graduate: Preparing for College Edition is available here if you missed the initial post.
Today, I’ll respond to queries about college socializing, including:
Any suggestions about how to meet people at a new school? Next semester, I’ll be transferring from a community college to a university, and I’m both excited and anxious about how it will go in terms of meeting friends.
It’s so thrilling to be starting over at this time and experiencing somewhere new! Joining a club, participating in local activities, and trying to find a study partner in each of your classes are some of the greatest methods, in my opinion, to meet other students. It could seem awkward at first to introduce yourself to someone, but when it comes to studying for exams and other things, two minds are always better than one.
Since I didn’t see anyone I knew every semester, it sometimes felt like I was in a completely other school. I realized that just through the subjects I was taking, I was able to meet new individuals. But that was also extremely wonderful since it prevented me from feeling alone in the group.
As a sophomore in college, I suffer from severe FOMO (fear of missing out). I’m devastated anytime my really close first-year pals get out with other individuals to replace me because they abruptly shifted their allegiances over the summer. Although there was no argument or quarrel, I have the impression that they were growing tired of my company and the friendship. Even though it looks like everyone has their own cliques, I’m keeping an open mind about the possibility of making new friends. Although college shouldn’t be like high school, it often feels like it, particularly at women’s colleges. What ought I to do?
Losing friends was one of the things I wasn’t prepared for when I recently wrote an article titled Life After College: 7 Things I Wasn’t Ready For.
Cliques persist far beyond adulthood, contrary to my previous belief that they would eventually disappear. Although I don’t believe they are as awful as they were when I was in high school, they are unquestionably still present.
Getting out of your comfort zone and participating in activities or groups you might not have otherwise is, in my opinion, one of the best strategies to overcome FOMO. This meant that I had to join a step team my freshman year. Although it was challenging to dive in alone, I soon made friends and developed a keen interest in something I never anticipated to like.
Another crucial thing to keep in mind is that, despite the fact that you can feel like the only foreigner on campus, there are actually a lot of other people who share your sentiments. Make a commitment to yourself to try new activities and to adopt the attitude that your people are just waiting to meet you or for you to discover them.
Should I concentrate solely on my schoolwork or join a group in college?
I’m a strong supporter of being engaged in clubs and other activities while in college. Yes, academics are crucial, but all of those extracurricular activities can also help you develop your talents, network, and connect with others outside of the classroom.
Your community is your college. There is no reason why you shouldn’t get to participate in it!
Now, I never advocate overextending yourself. If you are aware of how rigorous your coursework is, consider starting out by only joining one group. This club will not only give you a place to socialize with new people, but it will also compel you to develop time management skills because you must learn how to balance your studies with attending the club meetings.
In addition, I want to point out that just a small portion of your resume is academic. The extracurricular activities you participate in can actually help you stand out from other candidates when you apply for entry-level jobs in the future!