Your New Circle of Friends
The worst thing about being away from home, maybe for the first time, can be the feeling that you’re doing it all by yourself. While it’s true that getting established in college can sometimes be a bumpy ride, it’s not a solo journey. Even if you can’t wait to head off to college, the change can end up being anxiety provoking. While you are adjusting in your new environment, you might think that everyone has it figured out and that you don’t. It’s important to know that this feeling is normal and almost all first year college students are in the same boat when they arrive on campus. If you and your new roommates, people in your dorm, and classmates recognize that you can be huge sources of support for each other, the adjustment might feel easier and less lonely.
Begin your first year at college on the right track by building a support network as soon as possible. Even before you arrive, try to reach out to alumni from your high school who go to the college you’ll be attending (perhaps your guidance counselor knows alumni who attend?), join the “Class of” Facebook page at your college and attend a regional meet-up if there’s one scheduled in your area. Once you’re on campus, get to know what’s happening in your areas of interest: theater, dance, hiking, academic clubs, fraternities and sororities, intramural sports and more. By getting involved in activities that you know and like you’ll be able to meet people who share your interests – this will be a source of comfort.
If it feels hard to make friends or you feel like people aren’t really getting to know the real you, you aren’t alone or doing anything wrong. When you think about it, it’s impossible for a friend you met last week to understand you in the same way that your parents or your best friend since childhood does. In the first semester of college, try to be patient with this process and remain open to new people, experiences and opportunities to let people in and get to know you.