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Advice from a Freshman: Dealing with Social Change

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at C Mich chapter.

All my life I was so excited to go to college and explore my career and myself. Once I got here, I realize it was not what I imagined. We all know college is very different from high school, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult transition.

Making new friends and coming out of my shell were the biggest issues for me when I came to Central. I come from a very small town where everyone knows everyone. Being pushed out of a tiny pond and being moved to a big lake was quite scary. All my friends went to different colleges or are still in high school. It was hard not having them with me every day. I was no longer able to call them up and see if they wanted to get dinner. I was on my own.  Here’s what I’ve learned about making friends and keeping friends:

College friends

I decided to join a few clubs related to my major which pushed me to be social. I met people I was going to have classes with for the rest of my time here, so it was only fitting to become friends with each other. My major-related classes and clubs are where I met my friends. We already had a common interest and we could help each other out with assignments and study together.

Group projects helped too. I know most people hate them – me being one of them – but they do help you open up and talk to new people. A simple, “can you help me with this assignment,” can turn into a friendship.

Being able to get with your group outside of class is a great way to meet people and build friendships. Instead of meeting at the library, go to a local café, someone’s dorm/ apartment, or a hangout spot on campus. You’ll still be able to get work down but a more casual environment makes the meeting less formal. You’ll get work done while still having some fun.

High school friends

Staying in contact with people from high school helped me feel more comfortable. They were the ones who got me to step outside my comfort zone. And I knew, no matter what, they would still be there for me.

Most people part ways after high school but having a solid group that supports you while everything else in your life is changing is a great safety net. Even if your group gets smaller once you go off to college, it’s still nice to have a few friends from home to rely on.

You spent the last twelve years making bonds with people in your hometown, now you have to start again. Starting fresh with friendships is hard, but not impossible.