As college first-years, the change might be overwhelming; you’re at a brand new school away from home, you don’t know many people yet, you don’t know what your classes will be like, and for many (such as myself) you’ve never had to share a room before. Even for the most friendly, outgoing of us, trying to create a routine in a place where you can basically do anything you want at anytime (provided you do your homework) can be a challenge. So, here are some ways in which you can get out of your comfort zone.
- Raise Your Hand in Class
College professors have a very different teaching style than high school teachers, which is something you will discover quickly. You will be surprised at how easy it is to talk them and how easily they will respond to what you have to say in class- and most of them will be genuinely interested. If you’re on the shier side, make a rule for yourself; you have to raise your hand at least once per class. Soon, you may feel that once isn’t enough!
- Join a Club… or Two. Or Three.
Joining a club is a great way to meet new people and engage in an activity that you’ve always enjoyed doing. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to connect with people who share a common interest. Once you get used to being in a club, branch out more- join something that you never considered before. You might be surprised by how much you like it.
- Get Involved!
Volunteer around campus, whether it’s a local charity or soup kitchen, or a college event that requires students to help set up. Helping out with the school’s plays, events or fundraisers is a great way to get out of your comfort zone. Even if it takes just a few weeks to plan and hold the events, you won’t be sorry you took the time to help out.
- Get a Job!
Not only will this help pay off some of those crippling student loans, but having a job either on or off campus is a great way to prepare yourself for the real world, even if it has nothing to do with your future career path. Future employers look for applicants who enjoy branching out and exploring, and who knows- you might develop some skills you’ll use in the future.
- Talk to People
As simple as this sounds, yes, you should DEFINITELY talk to people, especially if it’s something you’re not used to doing. Talk to roommates, floormates, classmates, professors, even people you see just walking around campus. It may be strange at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will become for you. And it’s in everyone’s best interest as human beings to hear someone else’s story, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Learn about the Area
A great way to get used to being on a college campus is by getting the heck away from your college campus. On the weekends your workload is a little lighter, take some friends and walk around the city or town near your school. Take in the sights and figure out what cool things are around your town; take note of the nearest Starbuck’s, movie theatre and hibachi restaurant so you guys will always have some options for a night out of fun. Get to know the local business; this could be very useful if you want to remain nearby after graduation or during the summer.