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How Important is Having a Social Life in College?

Many people go into college thinking that this is where they are supposed to fully develop their personality, meet their future husband, wife, or partner, and acquire the education and experience to be successful in the “real world.” That is a tremendous amount of pressure to put on an 18 year-old who is living away from home for probably the first time. Students get, understandably, overwhelmed. As a result, many students simply focus on the educational aspect of their college career.

Now, let me be clear, I am in no way bashing the students who put their future successes over some random party on a Saturday night, but what are they missing out on? For one, connections. Grades and doing well in school of course come before all else, but with a complete focus on academics someone is losing out on the possible life long connections they could be making. Not to mention that your college network can be very impactful in getting job and life opportunities. Your social life can also make studying easier. Not everyone can be good at everything, but if you are reaching out and making friends in class or in your major, they can be a great resource to turn to for academic help. Even some professors encourage students to work and study together in order to better learn the material.

Being social and having a social life solidifies your place in a community. It melts away the inevitable loneliness people feel from time to time at college and it allows kids to relax and just have fun. Students are in a constant state of stress Monday through Friday and if it is exam season, that anxiety over testing never goes away. Hanging out with friends, going outside, playing a rec sport, or going to party all help to alleviate this stress, even if it is only temporary. I will let you in on a little secret that the corporate world doesn’t want you to know: you can have fun in college.

Yes, college is a place to get your degree so that you can get a job and your entire future will be secure. However, this is not something that you have to work towards every second of every day. It is natural to worry about the future, but isolating yourself and creating a hyper-focus on academics is only going to cause more problems down the road. As in all walks of life, balance is key. Start with small steps. Instead of sitting in your dorm or apartment to make dinner, try to get a couple of friends together and go to a dining hall or make dinner together. Being social does not have to mean staying out until 2 a.m., it can be as simple as studying with a friend in the library. Maintaining a social life in college is an ever-changing process. As you grow and get older the way you socialize will change. Freshman year people tend to go out all the time and with every passing semester the drive to pull “all nighters” lessens, but this isn’t a bad thing. Ultimately, you decide your college experience. I just urge you to push yourself out of your comfort zone every once in a while, so that you can have something memorable to look back on.

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Emma Keane

U Mass Amherst '23

Emma is a Junior this year at Umass Amherst. She is in her second semester of Her Campus and loves it. She is happy she made the decision to get back into reading and writing. In her free time, she likes to hang with friends, jam to Post Malone, and tan on the beach until sunset.
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