If the prospect of going off to college for the first time seems intimidating, you're not alone. On top of adjusting to a new environment - possibly in a new state or region of the country - new classes and professors, and a new schedule, you also need to adjust to a new social scene. If you’re going out-of-state or somewhere away from all your friends, it can be reassuring to know a few familiar faces before you make the big move onto campus.
While you absolutely should join your school’s official Facebook group to connect with other students and stay updated on your school’s latest announcements, exchanging enthusiastic “Hi!”s with countless other pre-frosh online might not help you develop meaningful relationships with your classmates. Instead, try connecting with your classmates before school starts through one of these five ways:
1. Attend All School-Sponsored Events
Your school likely has events scheduled over the summer and during the first week of school to acclimate you to college life and help you meet other people. Check your school’s website to see if they offer Orientation, Welcome Week, or other social events. These events will help cultivate your first friendships at your new school and assimilate into the spirit of your school’s culture. These events are required at most schools, but even if they’re optional at your school, it’s in your best interest to attend. Get ready to learn more about your new home, mingle, and make a few friends, too!
2. Meet Other Local Students
The best way to get to know other students before you move in is to actually meet them in person! Look for meet-ups in your local area on Facebook. (These are usually found under the “Discussions” tab in your school’s official group, typically with titles such as, “Anyone from Boston?”) If you don’t see a meet-up for your city, consider organizing the event yourself and posting it on your school’s Facebook group to get other local students interested. Plan an outing to a local spot such as an ice cream store, park, or restaurant.
Your school may have already planned events in your local area, so check with your school’s department of undergraduate admissions to see if there’s an event near you.