Welcome to College: Don’t Be a Stranger!

28 Aug

A new thing can be exciting and refreshing. That’s the beauty of change – it’s what makes day-to-day life a little more exciting than it was the day before. But change can be a big hurdle for a lot of people, AND THAT’S OK. Learning how to adjust or figuring out how to best transition into college isn’t a cakewalk for everyone. In fact, it’s probably a bigger issue for a lot more people than one initially thinks. The reality is that change, as exciting as it is, is also pretty nerve-wrecking.

I remember being 18 and moving into my first dorm. Being from Arizona myself, I knew a few people from home that were on campus but if we’re being honest no one that I was close friends with. The excitement of starting college was real but so was the fear that I would never be able to adjust or find friends like the ones I had left back home. Fortunately, that was not the case.

Yes, it is possible to find your niche in college! Yes, it is possible to transition gracefully! It’s all a matter of putting yourself out there and facing that tiny fear of rejection that lies in the back of one’s mind. University is full of opportunities for mingling with other students: clubs, jobs, and tons of other social activities. The only thing left to do as a student is choosing which route to follow; truly the possibilities are endless when deciding on how to get involved on campus. For those that aren’t sure where to start, here are a few option to get you all going.

Joining clubs

One of the most obvious ways to get involved on campus is everyone’s go-to suggestion: clubs. The University of Arizona has over 600 available clubs on campus! Ranging from things like self defense, major related subjects, or cultural communities there is more than likely something to appeal to everyone. And honestly, what better place to find people who share the same interests? The best way to make the U of A home is to find somewhere that feels like home. Take some time to check out their website at clubs.arizona.edu!

Make some friends AND make some money

Aside from school, the second best place to meet new people is probably going to be work. Not only does work give students the chance to make some extra cash for whatever purposes, but it also allows students to connect with other people nearby. Campus offers a variety of jobs whether they be in the student union, in college offices, or doing odd jobs like transporting students in golf carts, assisting in the residence halls, or managing bike racks, garages, etc. However, don’t limit yourself to campus! There are plenty of walking distance jobs on University Blvd that can bring in loads of tip money as well. Finding a fun job to fill in the downtime is more than possible in a college town like Tucson!

Opa!

Campus offers more than 50 academic, leadership, and social greek chapters to help students connect with their peers, stay involved on campus, and gain some very beneficial community service hours all at once. There are housed and unhoused chapters and groups based on your identities.  Greek life is just another awesome way for students to make lifelong connections with friends while getting in valuable and memorable experiences for the long run. The university also offers a website (greek.arizona.edu) where students can check out the many chapters available and their corresponding fees.

Give back to your community

Tons of students at the university are not only looking to meet new people, they’re looking to make good use of their time here on campus. For some, volunteering and community service work is an interest that not only lets them find a positive group of peers to surround themselves with, but it also provides them with some incredibly useful service hours that can help build their academic resume. The university has an easy to do interest form that can be submitted to ASUA to help match you with great volunteer opportunities at volunteer.asua.arizona.edu.

Of course coming to a new school or even a new state can be incredibly unsettling for some people. Realistically, it happens to most of us. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way forever! There is SO much for students to get involved in here on campus that there really is no reason to waste time wallowing in the first year jitters. It only takes a little bit courage to go out and find the perfect fit and the next four years will fall into place all on their own. Don’t be afraid to go out and find the ideal club, job, or social community! College is meant to be a fresh and exciting new adventure: let’s make the best of it!

-Diana

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