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Learning to Swim: Advice for freshmen on Getting Involved on Campus

We all went through it – you’re a freshman, still getting adjusted to college life. It’s normal for your main group of friends to be the people on your floor. It’s safe and easy, and not to mention very convenient. But think about how many people are on this campus – people you’ve never met or spoken to. Your future best friend could be right around the corner, and if you’re sticking with your floor mates for your entire first year, chances are good that you aren’t going to meet that person.

I have compiled some ideas to help you branch out Syracuse:

Attend club and activity fairs. Check them out. Seriously. I know it sounds cliché, but they are helpful to see what this school has to offer in the extracurricular realm. There is a club for everyone on campus – from singers to artists, from debaters to philosophers. I guarantee that if you check out a club fair on campus you will find something that interests you.

Be friendly. This may sound like an obvious one, but freshmen tend to look passed it once they’ve become friends with people in their dorms. As freshmen, you’re all trying to make new friends so don’t be afraid to say “hey” to someone you’ve never met or even flash a smile. That one friendly hello or smile may lead you to a new best friend.

Go Greek. Even if you think, “there’s no way I would ever be in a sorority” rushing is always a good way to meet people and gain some familiar faces around campus. There is no reason not go through rush even if you are unsure. Greek life is such a huge aspect of campus life at Syracuse so give it a shot! For countless girls, being in a sorority ended up expanding their groups of friends immensely and ultimately shaped their experience at SU.

Don’t let prior relationships or friendships hold you back. This is a big one. A lot of times what keeps freshmen disconnected from campus life at Syracuse is a person or people back home. I know I struggled with this during my first semester at school. But in the end, you can’t let those people who are miles away hold you back from having the time of your life at an amazing college. Just remember: you can spend all summer with your friends from home!

Don’t be lazy. Laziness is a huge reason why many people including myself, did not reach out to new people and instead focused on my floor-mates. It definitely takes some effort to get out there and try new things but it is worth it.

There are so many ways to get involved on campus. Just take a little time to figure out what appeals to you and go for it! I know for me, getting involved was the best thing I’ve done at Syracuse University, and I couldn’t be happier here.

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