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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CNU chapter.

A new chapter in life, such as entering college, often feels like being a small boat cast into a vast and sprawling ocean. Every hallway, bustling with anticipation, resonates with the whispered promises of new friendships and opportunities. Every classroom, every study nook, every courtyard offers a microcosm of the world, teeming with doors waiting to be opened and stories waiting to be written. Amidst this overwhelming tapestry of life, how does one pinpoint the space where they truly belong? From the academic societies dedicated to passionate debates and fervent studies to the cozy, lighthearted gatherings of film enthusiasts sharing popcorn and critiques, discovering your niche in this vast landscape requires both introspection and exploration. It’s a profound journey of self-discovery, where every casual chat by the water cooler, every shared note, every club meeting is a steppingstone to finding your tribe. It’s about understanding that while the college universe is vast and infinite in its offerings, there’s a constellation out there that aligns perfectly with who you are and what you aspire to be.

STart with self reflection

Before diving into the myriad of college groups, it’s essential first to anchor yourself in self-awareness. Reflect on your passions, interests, and values. Do you thrive in academic circles, discussing theories and innovations? Or is your heart drawn to artistic expression, whether through music, theater, or painting? This introspection is crucial; I personally grappled with the challenge of understanding that contentment with oneself is a precursor to truly connecting with others. By recognizing your core interests and placing your well-being and aspirations at the forefront, you can make more informed choices about where and with whom to invest your time.

BE open to experimentation

College is an expansive horizon of opportunities, a canvas waiting for you to paint your unique journey. It’s a time not just for academic growth but also profound self-discovery. While it’s easy to tread familiar paths and stick to well-known territories, embracing the unknown can be immensely rewarding. Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about dancing to a rhythm, feeling the music course through you? Perhaps now is the time to attend that dance class you’ve always been curious about. Or, if you’ve found yourself engrossed in discussions and arguments, maybe joining a debate club to refine your argumentative skills is the call of the hour. These might seem like small steps, but they have the potential to ignite new passions or unearth latent talents. It’s these ventures outside our comfort zones, these forays into the unfamiliar, that often lead to the most transformative and fulfilling experiences. Remember, college offers a rare blend of safety and exploration; it’s the perfect backdrop against which to challenge yourself, to grow, and to truly discover who you are.


At my college, Christopher Newport University (CNU), the campus is alive with a diverse array of events, ranging from the captivating beats of cultural nights to the raw talent showcased in student-led performances. These events serve not only as vibrant forms of entertainment but also as gateways into the multifaceted communities that make up our university. While the energy and atmosphere of such events can be alluring, I’ve found that they can also be overwhelming at times. It’s essential to navigate them at your own pace, absorbing what appeals to you and stepping back when needed. As tempting as it might be to immerse oneself fully, always prioritize your comfort. For some, this means diving into the heart of the action, while for others, it might be observing from the periphery. Each event is a chance to connect, learn, and grow, but it’s equally important to remember that your journey is personal, and it’s okay to engage in ways that feel most authentic to you.

Trust your instincts

Navigating the myriad of groups and organizations in college can sometimes feel like charting unknown territories. Each group presents its own culture, ethos, and dynamics, and while some may resonate immediately, others might leave you questioning. It’s during these times of uncertainty that trusting your instincts becomes paramount. Remember, these innate feelings or “gut reactions” are often our subconscious mind’s way of processing information based on past experiences and values. If a group feels right, if conversations flow, and the environment aligns with your personal values, chances are it’s a setting where you’ll thrive. Conversely, if you find yourself hesitating or feeling out of place, don’t ignore those feelings. It’s perfectly okay to step back, reflect, and explore other avenues. The college journey is filled with choices, and by tuning into and trusting your instincts, you position yourself to make decisions that truly resonate with who you are and where you aspire to be.

Patience is key

Remember, finding your place doesn’t always happen overnight. It’s okay to take your time, explore various avenues, and make adjustments along the way. College is a journey, and the search for your tribe is a significant part of that adventure.

In closing, college is a mosaic of experiences, groups, and opportunities. While the vastness can initially feel daunting, with patience and self-awareness, you’re sure to find your unique place in this intricate tapestry. Embrace the journey with an open heart, and let your experiences shape a memorable college chapter.

Cooper Lebor is a student at CNU, he is majoring in computer science. His life goal is to be a billionaire.