What to Bring: Social Edition

The greatest casualty of your college career may take place within the first few days of your existence on campus. Yikes! It sounds scary – but it’s simpler than it seems.

It can be avoided with this one easy step: be social. You see, it’s easy to be wrapped up in the change – there’s a lot of it happening the first few months – but instead of tying yourself in knots, embrace the adjustment. Check out these tips to help you out during your first weeks of college:

1. If you’re in your room, open the door. People walking by will stop and chat! I made some of my best friends in my dorm by leaving my door open during the first few weeks. **College Dorm Room Life Hack: Opening your window and opening your door creates a draft that will keep your room cooler during the hot summer months & cooler when the heater gets too hot in the winter!

2. Your dorm will offer opportunities to meet other people within your dorm. GO TO THEM. Last fall, Kollen held a “Speed Friending” night and I met almost 20 people this way. At least five of them are now my closest friends. If nothing else, these events are great ways to be able to recognize a few faces around the dorm and in the dining hall! **College Event Life Hack: Most of the time, dorm events have free food involved.

3. Smile. Smile a lot. You become much more approachable if you have a smile on your face. **College Happiness Life Hack: Whether or not you’re actually happy, scientific studies show that fake smiling can cause real happiness.

4. Travel – outside of your comfort zone. Hope will offer a lot of opportunities with a lot of people with a lot of life experiences that you have never seen before. Walk through your entire dorm to see who has their door open, and don’t be afraid to walk through other dorms, either! **College Avoid Awkward Situations Life Hack: Come up with two to three most hilarious situations that have taken place in your life or quirky traits that make you who you are and keep them in your back pocket as stories to share as you meet people. People will remember you better this way, and you will also be able to remember other people better – most times, the other person will share a story as well. My example: I dislocated my rib from playing golf!

5. Friend as few people as possible on Facebook prior to being on campus. I “friend-ed” a LOT of people before I came, which worked out fine – so if you already have, don’t worry about it – but if possible, avoid it. You will be meeting a lot of people quickly, and if you “friend” your classmates as you meet them on campus rather than in cyberspace, you will remember them better and they will also remember you better.

6. The first five people you meet might be your best friends for the next four years. But then again, they might not. I met AMAZING people at the beginning of the year. As the year progressed, I met even more amazing people. My friend group progressed and changed throughout the entire year. On the opposite side, if you’re not meeting people within the first few days, do not fret! The right people will show up if you continue to engage yourself within your community.

7. Free food = free friends. Baking cookies in your dorm kitchen (if you’re willing to share!) is one of the quickest ways to make friends. Who doesn’t love free food?

8. Try not to talk about high school. Very few people, if any, will know who you’re talking about – and plus, people want to hear about you, not about your hometown friends! Take this opportunity to share less stories and tell more about who you are. Your hobbies, class schedule, and dorm life are perfect conversation starters to find other people who share your similarities!

9. If you have seen my blogs or I’ve chatted with you via social media or email and you see me on campus, please introduce yourself! I would love to meet you in person!

10. THE OCTOBER RULE. Abide by it. You’ll find out more later.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer! Want more tips? Keep up with me @hopesophie17. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email at sophie.guetzko@hope.edu. Hope to talk to you soon!

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Published by Sophie Guetzko

Hey, I'm Sophie. I'm a third year college student graduating a year early, in May 2016. Follow me (I'm a Leadership minor) @hopesophie17 on Twitter and Instagram, send me an email at sophie.guetzko@hope.edu-- I'd love to chat (I'm a Communication major). While on campus, I've been involved with numerous Bible Studies, The Anchor newspaper, CFL Consulting, and recently started my own t-shirt company through the CFL Incubator program. Hope to talk soon!

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