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For most of us, college was our first time living away from home. Unless you know people from high school who are attending the same college, the first few days of college can be extremely scary yet exciting. I have gone through those dreadful days and come back better after. Here are a few things you can do to make a massive campus feel smaller:

Get To Know Your Roommates

This one might seem easy, but sometimes roommate relationships take work. You can’t just be put in a room with someone and expect to automatically get along. One thing my roommates and I would do was to have one weekly dinner where we talked about our weeks, our common dilemmas, goals, life and so much more. Getting to know your roommate may lead to a lasting friendship and will make discussing issues easier in the long run.

Join Clubs For Fun

One common theme I heard from my friends throughout my first weeks of college was that they were joining clubs solely for their future careers. While this tactic is smart and I recommend it, don’t just join clubs to make connections. The people in those clubs may share a common goal or career choice with you, but that may be all you share. It’s important to have balance where you join some clubs just for fun. College is the time to try so many new things you couldn’t have imagined in the past. Joining clubs is a way to find your people while also getting an exciting college experience.

Attend As Many Events As Possible

I don’t mean going to every party you know about. However, I do mean attending random events that your university’s government or housing staff is hosting. For example, my dorm building hosted a silent disco. I didn’t know anyone attending, but I chose to go because I wanted to socialize with others. More often than not, you have to put yourself out there to meet people. Even if it seems nerve-wracking, those around you probably have the same social fears that you do. Also, if you attend these events or even sporting events, you might also get free items that are worth your while.

Decorate Your Room

While you are embarking on a new adventure, it’s important to remember where you came from. I found that having trinkets from home and from my family helped me throughout the days when I felt extremely lost. Plus, no one likes to live in a bland college dorm or apartment. By decorating your space, you add your personality to wherever you are living.

Familiarize Yourself With Your Surroundings

I grew up in Los Angeles, so the idea of leaving the UCLA campus to escape to my usual coffee shops and restaurants seemed like a no-brainer when I moved in. However, college life could be overwhelming at times, so I wasn’t able to go out as much as I wanted. While this wasn’t as much of a loss to me because I grew up 20 minutes away from my campus, my friends found themselves in the same dilemma. They regretted not leaving campus more instead of focusing on their studies 24/7. While it’s important to focus on your classes, it’s also important to get to know your surroundings, so that you can make new memories and know where exactly you are living.

Ultimately, college is all about what works for you. There isn’t one answer to what will help you feel more at home, but these are a few suggestions to get you started.

Allison is a feature writer at UCLA who loves hanging out at the beach and eating any kind of dessert.
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