An Introduction Can Go A Long Way

I had always imagined myself arriving at college and instantly forming lifelong bonds with a group of girls. Unfortunately, things were not that simple. I ended TCNJ's welcome week with just one friend, although I had acquired many acquaintances. However, I wondered how it's possible that I only formed one true connection with one other student in a school of approximately 7,200 people?

I realized it wasn’t practical to expect to make my best friends overnight, and I also realized I’ll likely never find a group of girls like the ones I devoted myself to in high school. I needed to remember that the love between my friends from back home took years to culminate, and that it isn’t possible to form the high level of comfort I had with them with these new girls that I was just beginning to know. However, in order to create the lifelong friendships I dreamed of having at school, I knew I needed to put my big girl pants on and get some social skills!

I challenged myself to introduce myself to 5 new people. I decided to start on a Monday so I’d have a week’s worth of classes to find someone to befriend. The night before, I found myself making a mental list of all the ways this challenge could totally fail and all the potential excuses I could tell myself to back out of this. But then I realized, what’s the worst that could happen? Worst case, I get rejected and someone isn’t interested in talking to me, but bruised egos eventually will heal. I hope that after reading the lessons I learned about both myself and the value in approaching new people, you will see the benefit of stepping out of your comfort zone and forming new relationships.

Your confidence will skyrocket

Knowing that I am able to strike up a conversation with someone gives me a sense of power and comfort in my own skin.

Your comprehension in the classroom could improve

I made a friend in each one of my classes, now when I get confused I have people other than my professor to turn to and get clarification.

You will have connections post-graduation that could help with your career

I’m an education major, the first year of teaching is the hardest, making connections within my major will help in my first year of teaching and when I need any assistance in my future classroom.

You will stay motivated

The people I have met since moving to a new floor are all driven individuals. Being surrounded by people who have a good work ethic will translate into me working harder and harder.

You will become more culturally aware

Not even just this week, but with all the people I’ve opened up to and who have opened up to me, have discovered different and unique walks of life that I wouldn’t have been aware of if I hadn’t taken the time to interact with them!