We all want to be a part of a community. At Florida National University, our community is small enough to feel like a family and yet expansive enough to be a valuable network for life. Your days at university can become some of your fondest memories of fun times, friends, and moments of transformative learning. We know it can be challenging to immerse yourself in a new environment so to make it a bit easier, here are some ideas for how to get started.
How to Meet New People in College:
1. Join a Sport
People tend to connect with athletes based on the sport alone, so this is a great way to get involved in your university’s community. When you participate in a college sport, all eyes of the university are on you, cheering in your corner and rooting for you to win, because if you win, then the school wins, and this brings about a positive level of camaraderie and school pride. As a college athlete, many people will know who you are before you know them!
Also, being an athlete does wonder for a college student’s social life! Just turn on the television and you will notice that some of the faces and personalities are athletes or they used to be. For instance, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a former pro wrestler is now a huge movie star who’s part of the Fast & Furious franchise and other blockbuster movies. Former New York Giants football player and Football Hall of Famer, Michael Strahan retired and went on to become a major TV personality. This is not to say that you are guaranteed a certain level of success in life if you join a college sport. Joining a sport will simply help you get more involved with your university’s community and quite possibly open doors to other opportunities.
If you have the talent, consider joining a sport at your university. Granted, some coaches will scout out some of their athletes, but Florida National University (FNU) encourages you to consider trying out for one of our basketball, soccer, or volleyball teams. Our athletic department is part of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. If you’re interested in playing sports as an FNU Conquistador, visit our webpage and fill out this online form.
2. Join an Academic Study Group or Cultural Club
Many students form study groups for subjects they find challenging or simply because they like studying as a group, rather than alone. Some of these study groups last as long as the semester and others go on to become a permanent student organization. By joining an academic club, this will not only help you meet more people and get involved with school events, but you’ll also be improving your studying skills and overall academic grade for that particular subject.
Culture clubs are a great way to indulge in your passions together with others. Even if you’re not currently passionate about a certain culture as a whole, you can join on certain events that might present food, cinema, or festivities as simply an interesting inquiry into a new experience. Most of the time, others are also trying new things for the first time in a university which can create a powerful bonding experience.
Forming a study group with peers that live nearby means that students don’t have to commute all the way to school to study; this is especially helpful for those with longer commutes. This tactic can also be especially useful for online students. Don’t hide behind the anonymity of the virtual classroom; get out and meet others from your class in a safe, public environment!
In this modern age, students must adapt to new technologies. Students having difficulty meeting up can also utilize the Internet for their study groups! When a group member is out of town, when the weather is bad, or when group members are having difficulty meeting in a particular location, then log in to Skype, Go-to-Meeting, Google Hangouts or other video conferencing websites!
3. Attend Sporting and/or Community Events
If you don’t consider yourself the academic or sports scholar, you don’t have to join a club/team, just show up to a sporting or campus event! You’ll be surprised at how many people you can meet by simply showing up and starting a conversation. You’ll be on campus, so you don’t have to worry about talking to a complete stranger because you’ll all have academia in common. The chances are highly likely that you’ll even see a classmate! And you’ll find that some of your classmates may be a bit more approachable outside of the classroom when the stress and urgency of completing assignments aren’t present.
This is also a way to gain a genuine school spirit. Having pride in where you’re spending four years of your life is a great way to build connections for life. Go all out with school colors and college apparel too. Enthusiasm attracts others who are also looking to make friends.
4. Show Up to Orientation!
This really should be the first thing you do, but we figured it would sound too much like an instructional pamphlet and as a student—a new student, you’ll have plenty of those! But it’s still worth mentioning. By showing up for orientation, you’ll be able to meet all of the other new students like yourself! You’ll also meet key faculty members who you can connect with and learn about any new opportunities happening on campus.
Orientation also happens to be the perfect time to learn about the resources available to you on campus that you can take advantage of for personal and social reasons. It only happens once so don’t miss it!
5. Start a Conversation with a Fellow Classmate
This might sound nerve-wracking but something as simple as asking for an extra pen or pencil while you’re in class can make all the difference between gaining a “study buddy” or working alone. A simple, “hello” can take you a long way in developing a friendly conversation with someone and who better than your classmate who’s sitting 2-3 feet away from you? You don’t have to carry on a full-blown conversation with your classmate, but a simple “good morning” or just offering your assistance with an academic problem he or she might be having can take you further than you could imagine.
Try commenting on that day’s class lecture, talk about an event happening on campus, even suggest grabbing something to eat after class. You’d be surprised how easy it is to strike up a friendship so long as both parties see an open door.
6. Get a Job!
Finding a job on campus is another great way to help you get more involved in your university’s community. As a campus employee, you’ll be a staple on campus. Students and faculty will know and recognize your face and you’ll recognize theirs. FNU offers work-study opportunities to students who qualify!
But also, you can volunteer. Sometimes big events on campus need extra people power to make it happen, and unifying for a common cause is always a way to get a conversation started. The great thing is that you can pick what event you might be interested in – culture events, concerts, charities, fundraising – anything!
FNU: Get Involved!
College is a time of major transition for most students. Having just left the rigid organization of high school, the relaxed environment of homeschooling, or re-entering the classroom after an absence, many college students are in a state of great change and in need of good advice.
Just a simple visit to the office can make a far-reaching difference in the realization of joining your college community. Students at FNU can access support from academic advisors, professors, and counselors easily when they attend either our campus locations in Miami or Hialeah.
FNU takes pride in giving students the knowledge and skills necessary to take advantage of fresh opportunities. There are so many ways you can get involved in your campus’ community. These first six tips are just a few of the ways you can start. To inquire about enrolling in FNU and become a part of our campus community, contact an advisor today!