Many of you will be heading off to college this fall. And while academics might be the primary focus, college life is definitely about more than just studying! You also hope to have some fun, and make friends that you will keep for the rest of your life. If you’re feeling a bit unsure of how to accomplish that in a brand-new environment, these five tips will help.
Get out! That is, get out of your dorm room. Take advantage of every opportunity to walk around campus, explore your new town, and look for fun things to do. You won’t meet many people sitting behind a closed door, so head to the library for study time, and catch up on your reading at a cafe or on the quad.
Get involved. Most colleges host numerous special activities each week, along with guest speakers, art exhibits, dance performances, and so on. Keep an eye on those fliers that you see everywhere. A lot of them will be advertising memorable and exciting events.
Join some clubs. Yes, this is classic advice, but it’s repeated so frequently for a reason. One of the best ways to meet like-minded people is to join some groups that intrigue you.
Offer to help. Volunteer to help other students when the opportunity arises. A sick classmate might need notes, or your lab partner might want to study together. There are other ways to help, too; volunteer with a charitable organization, and you can make a difference while making friends.
Don’t go home every weekend. Some freshmen start off their first semester by heading home each weekend. Whether it’s due to home sickness or simply a need for clean laundry, avoid getting into this habit. Home sickness fades by the end of the semester in most cases, and you can always use a campus laundromat. If you’re absent from campus over the weekend, you’ll be missing some of the most fun parts of college life!
Of course, if you get truly overwhelmed, it’s always acceptable to take some time alone or go home for the weekend. You can return to your social life rejuvenated, rather than burnt out, and a fresh positive mindset never hurt anyone.