College is a time to put yourself out there and experience new things. The best way to enjoy college is to jump right in and immerse yourself in it. But how do you know if you’ve fully put yourself out there? If you’re stuck in a few of these routines, you probably haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone.
1. You don’t know anyone in your classes. First of all, never skip an opportunity to make friends. Second, if you don’t understand something, homework and study groups can be an excellent resource.
2. You go straight back to your dorm after class. It makes sense. You’ve got a lot of homework, so you go straight to your dorm to take care of it. But here’s the deal: being by yourself, surrounded by homework at all times of the day is not healthy for your mental, physical, or spiritual health. Do yourself a favor and take a break. Enjoy some fresh air. Hang out with some new people.
3. You’re not in any clubs. Clubs can be a bit of a time commitment and you may have piles and piles of homework to do. But even if you join one club, the time you spend participating in that activity can be a great stress reducer and you get to meet new people who share common interests.
4. You only associate with the same five people. So you’ve found your group of friends and you don’t feel like you need anymore. That’s fine. But keep in mind that you’re missing out on the opportunity to meet some people who very well may positively impact your life in a big way.
5. Your roommate is your only friend. This is a bigger issue than the last one. Yes, you and your roommate have beat the odds and are now the best of friends. But that doesn’t mean you should shut others out.
6. For a conversation to start, you wait for other people to initiate. Some people are shy and others are out-going. That’s just how people are. But college is a time to reinvent yourself. As hard as it might be to start off, try to be the first one to start a conversation. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
7. You don’t go to events and activities because you don’t think you’ll fit in with the crowd. You shouldn’t ever have to worry about fitting in. Either people accept the real you or they don’t. You take it as it is and move on. But if something looks fun, don’t let your worries hinder your chances at having a good time.
8. You decided not to take a class because it sounds weird. Don’t pick or reject a class because of this. Read course descriptions and talk to peers before your pick something. So the class sounds like it might be a little out there. If you have space for electives, try it out.
9. You don’t leave campus unless you’re going home. Get out and explore. So what if your campus is nice! Unless you’re in the middle of nowhere, there’s plenty to explore. And if you are in the middle of nowhere, still leave campus anyways. You need to know what the areas surrounding your school are like.
10. You go home every weekend. Homesickness is real. No one is disputing that. But how do you get close to your new friends and immerse yourself in college life if you aren’t even around?