The Most Important Activity in College
I teach a communications course to first-year college students and one question I often ask is:
“Of the many opportunities college offers, what are you looking forward to over the next four years?”
The overwhelming answer?
Meeting new people and making friends.
Here is the good news. On campus, there are many ways to meet new people and make friends. However, you would be surprised by how few people take advantage of the simplest of activities.
Here are just three activities to consider meeting new people and making friends.
#1 During each course you are taking, introduce yourself to one person each week. When attending the course throughout the semester change your seat each week. Introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you. Over the next sixteen weeks, you will meet at least sixteen people. Just say “hi” and ask a follow-up question such as, “what is your major?” You would be surprised how many students are unaware of other students in the same class with the same major
# 2 Over the course of one school year, join at least two college clubs. One club should be within the major you are considering, and another club could be of interest. For example, most colleges and universities have an accounting, finance, and nursing clubs. A club you should join is your intended major. The second club you may want to join is to satisfy an untapped interest. Did you ever want to act but were too shy to take the first step? On the other hand, did you ever think of taking an art class but never had the time? Joining these clubs offers many benefits other than making friends.
#3 Within the university, find a part-time job or volunteer in an area of interest. Most colleges and universities offer part-time jobs that do not require a lot of effort and will accommodate your schedule. This idea provides opportunities to meet people that share similar interests, with the added benefit of extra spending money!
Remember too, chances are there are many people around you who are interested in the same outcome: meeting new people and making friends! For more ideas on how to meet people and make new friends (and more) check out, Check It Off! Pave Your Way through College to Career.
Vera Teller is a professor at California State University Dominguez Hills. She is a Ph.D., and has written two books to help her students navigate the bumpy road from college to career, Check It Off! and Navigate Your Way to the Career You Want. She lives in Southern California, is an in-demand College-to-Career Speaker, and consults with parents and students on navigating the entire process. www.verateller.com