Finding Your College Niche


Welcome to college. We’ll be taking you out of your home. We’ll be taking away most of the friends you’ve grown up with. We’ve even thrown you into a dorm full of complete strangers. Now, make new friends and figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life.

It all seems a little overwhelming, right? Definitely. But it doesn’t have to.

College is one of the greatest times for anyone in his or her life to do one of three things:

  1. Figure out who you are.
  2. Figure out who you want to become.
  3. Reaffirm who you’ve always been.

Embracing these challenges means coming to a stronger sense of self. And getting comfortable in your own skin is the key to facing any challenge confidently. Homesickness is common when moving away for the first time, and missing friends should be expected. But if you build a strong foundation that’s focused on loving who you are, you’ll be able to face anything and everything college throws your way.

The good news is that any college will offer its students an ample number of opportunities to play “who do I want to be.” What is even better is the fact that clubs and organizations on any campus are great for giving you a test run and building your résumé.

Look into any of these resources to help in carving out your niche and finding out who you want to be on your campus:

  • Academic Advisors: You are at school to get an education, after all. Check in from time to time to make sure that you’re on the right educational path.
  • Personal Advisors: If your school doesn’t provide someone for you already, consider taking on an RA or professor, someone who meshes with your personality.
  • Activity Fairs: Every school organization with an Uncle Sam recruitment mentality wants YOU. An activity fair is a great way to bring these organizations to you.
  • Service Organizations: Bring out your inner philanthropist. Find something that helps others.
  • Occupational Organizations: School newspaper, political groups, theater, musical, or artistic interests; there are dozens of groups that do specifically what you’re looking to do.
  • Social Organizations: Fraternities and sororities are almost always an option but most certainly not the only one.
  • (Insert Your Group Here): Don’t see something you like? Well then start your own. Most schools will help to sponsor any new clubs or organizations you’d like to create.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

This article was written by Heath Stephens

Heath Stephens is a 2006 graduate of Miami University currently residing in Washington, DC. He currently holds a bachelor of arts degree in English literature.

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