When it comes to college visits and the college search process, we know there can be a lot of big questions with uncertain answers. We have talked about maximizing your college visit experience, and we covered some things you should try to keep in mind about the process, but there are a few questions that many students may have, but don’t quite know how to ask:
- How do you make friends when you get to college?
2. How do you find community?
3. Am I the only one feeling this?
It’s normal to look around and notice that everybody seems to be enjoying themselves, while you may feel a bit overwhelmed and have a difficult time voicing anxiety or concern about your own journey. We’ll let you in on a little secret: everybody has felt and thought about those exact things.
When it comes to finding community anywhere you go, we want you to keep some things in mind.
- Open your mind.
College is going to be a new experience that will test how well you think you know yourself and the things that you want. Keeping an open mind for the new people, new perspectives, and new ideas that you may encounter will ensure that you are not closing yourself off from all the learning that comes from novel experiences.
- Be yourself.
Part of prepping for college is getting all those questions answered about how many of your credits are going to transfer and which graduation requirements you must fulfill. However, nothing can prepare you for how much you are going to change and evolve during your time in college. Spend time in places and with people who allow you to feel like yourself. And don’t forget to spend a little time getting to know yourself through all parts of your journey, too.
- You’re not alone.
Really. This statement might feel like somewhat of a cliché, but it’s the truth. There is a phenomenon in social psychology known as ‘pluralistic ignorance.’ Imagine a scene that you probably already know well: a teacher makes a confusing statement and afterwards asks anyone if they have questions, but nobody raises their hand. You’re confused, but you think that because nobody else raised their hand, you may be the only person confused, so you don’t raise your hand. Meanwhile, everybody is thinking the exact same thing that you are. There are no questions that are any less smart or smarter than others—so ask them! Know that what you feel is important and there are and always will be resources and places for you to be able to talk and get those questions answered. You are never alone!