College is terrifying. It’s not just the overload of assignments, the 8 a.m. classes, or the snarky professors. It’s the looming fear of making friends and finding your place in the swarm of college students.
Getting told you’ll make loads of friends can be discouraging and maybe even give you anxiety. What if you don’t make these friends? Where do you even find them? In a new and hectic environment like college, these thoughts can plague the minds of students.
Luckily, colleges everywhere have organizations run by students for a wide variety of hobbies and interests. Even then, the thought of joining these organizations can be nerve-wracking. Here are some tips for getting over these anxieties and getting more involved in your college.
1.Know That Clubs Are Optional
The nice thing about clubs is that they are mostly noncommittal. This means you can go to a meeting, test the waters, and see if you like it. If you do end up joining a club you are interested in, you aren’t required to go to every meeting. A large number of clubs even host informational meetings at the beginning of each semester for potential members to learn more about the club.
2.Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
If you learn one thing form your professors throughout college, it’s that no question is a stupid question. You may feel silly asking certain questions that may seem obvious, but don’t be. Getting involved on campus rather it be clubs, a recreational sports team or the student government can be intimidating. Asking questions can ease any stress you may have while trying to get involved. More likely than not, people will be ecstatic you’re asking questions and be glad to answer them. Alayna Colbert, a Western New England student, recommends speaking to e-board members of the club you’re interested in, as it’s part of their position to make members feel welcome and included.
3.Take On Responsibilities in Organizations
Distractions are always helpful when dealing with anxiety and that’s why taking on leadership roles in clubs you’re interested in can be helpful. Jevon Boley, who studies at Scott Community College in Iowa said offering help gets you involved. “I’ve noticed that everyone in my club is very inviting. You’re there to be a helping hand, so people will naturally be happy that you’re joining. So long as you mind your responsibilities in the club, you’ll find a great opportunity to network and make friends.” Working hard with clubmates on club activities can help to ease your anxiety, and help you to get closer with your clubmates.
4.Explore Major Related Organizations
Joining organizations related to your major may seem like a drag; you already go to classes multiple times a week for your major. So why spend your free time in a club that coincides with your major? Emily Kelly, an Iowa State University student, shared that “You’re more likely going to be with people you take classes with and you already know there’s going to be a chance you’re going to love it.” Joining clubs with familiar faces can help ease any stress you may have and getting close to people in your major can help you out in the long run.
5.Don’t Think It’s Too Late to Join
There seems to be an assumption that clubs only welcome freshmen, or transfer students. This is totally wrong. Clubs welcome anyone to join them, no matter what year you may be in. You can even join in at any point of the semester. Club officers don’t care, and they’ll always welcome a new face to their meetings. Getting involved later on is better than looking back and regretting that you never joined anything at all.
Getting involved with your college can seem scary, but hopefully, with these tips the nervousness that comes with meeting new people can be eased, allowing you to make new connections, and friendships that may last a lifetime.