North Carolina State University has over 35,000 students on its campus and it's hard to feel like an individual when there are 200 students signed up for your chemistry class. You go to the dining hall and there are a lot of students there then you go to D.H. Hill Library and there are even more people; we are always surrounded by people no matter where we go. So here are some simple ways to feel like an individual as opposed to another part of the student body.
1. It's easy to get lost in your large classes.
Go to office hours and get individual help and attention from your teachers. I went to supplemental instruction (SI) sessions for Chemistry and to the office hours for both of my English professors. SI Sessions are very relaxed and the class material is explained more in-depth and is clarified so that students can better understand the material. SI sessions had small groups and there were no more than eight people at a typical session. Basically, SI sessions are more personalized and involve more examples and activities as opposed to a lecture where the teacher is talking to more than 200 students. I went to office hours for my English classes to go over papers and to discuss class readings. Overall, office hours and tutoring sessions help you to learn and understand the class and make you feel a connected as a person instead of just another face in the crowd.
2. Go to the quieter parts of campus where there aren't a lot of students around.
There are going to be a lot of people in the dining halls, the Atrium, and the library. Try to find some smaller and quieter part of campus where there aren't so many people. Central campus is packed with students because everything is close by such as the gym, bookstore, and the library. Try going to Pullen Park instead of the Court of Carolina, many there won't be as many people there.
3. Join some smaller organizations as opposed to the big ones.
There are several groups for every area of interest offered here at State. Some of these groups are larger than other groups. For example, the Pre-veterinary club has more students than the Companion Animal Club even though both are related to science. Also, Technician is much larger than Her Campus at NCSU. Join some of the smaller clubs such as Companion Animal Club over Pre-health club or Her Campus over Technician. Quality is not sacrificed because the group is smaller and the quality can be a better experience for you.
4. Spend some time with reflection and thought by yourself.
Put your phone on silent mode and just think and reflect by yourself in a quiet environment. Don’t take any technology with you. While on campus people can constantly surround you, so spend some time with the person you know best…yourself. We all need some time to just spend time listening to nothing and doing nothing. Go to Pullen Park and just lay down on the grass on a beautiful day.
5. Do something that you would love to do.
This suggestion helps you feel like an individual because you are doing something that you love or have passion for, and not because somebody suggested that you do it. One way to figure out what you love to do is to do the thing you wake up in the morning thinking about. I'm not thinking about doing chemistry homework when I wake up in the morning. I'm thinking about soccer or reading a good book or basketball, because I enjoy doing these activities. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to do things that can make or break your future (since no one insignificant mistake will ruin your future such as getting a B instead of an A). I am in the cooking club, which will not help me get a job as a teacher. I am in the cooking club because I like to cook and not because I want to become the next Bobby Flay or Rachael Ray.
These are important things for everyone to do and these are not just for college students. Therefore, tell everyone who you care about to do these things because they will be happier. You will also be part of a deeper and close-knit community if you do these five actions.