Being an introverted and shy wallflower might be one way to live in high school. However, once college rolls around and you’re left on your own with your own freedoms, in a place you’re unfamiliar with, it’s up to you to be proactive with your social life. Whether you’re looking to get involved on campus, join a team, or just meet people, there are a number of things you can do to break out of your shell.
1. Start Early: Your First Week at College Defines the Rest of the Year
- Even if you consider yourself to be introverted, be more outgoing than you normally would the first week. Over the first couple of days, try to meet and talk to as many people as you can in your dorm and in class.
- The best way to develop a community is to do everything in a group the first few weeks. When you attend meetings, invite others to join you. The same goes with lunch or dinner—invite anyone and everyone. By developing a group, or community, within your dorm, you’ll form friendships quickly.
- Keep the door to your room open. This way people can drop in and say hello at any time.
- Organize a weekly poker game, or a night of pick-up basketball in the rec center. You can also get people together once a week to watch a favorite television show.
2. Study, Study, Study!
- Not only are study groups helpful, but they will also allow you to meet other students in your classes.
- Introduce yourself to people around you during the first few weeks of class. When you receive your first assignment, talk to anyone you’ve met and arrange a date a few days before the assignment is due to get together as a group.
- Bonus: Helping others on their homework also helps you solidify your knowledge.
3. Get Involved on Campus
- Join, join, join! Your freshman year is the ideal year to join a club or organization. Many schools offer a variety of organizations to choose from and they provide a steady source of new people to meet.
- Usually your dorm will have a bulletin board with a list of events and activities going on. Some will be specific to your dorm while others are specific to campus.
- You will meet some of your greatest friends by joining a campus organization. How much more motivation do you need?
4. Root for the Home Team!
- Even if you’re not into sports, attend the events. It will allow you to meet people and show your school spirit.
- Grab a friend—or better yet, a group of friends—and hit up the Saturday afternoon football game.
- Most schools will give students tickets for free, or at least at a discounted rate. Check with your school for specific offers.
5. Be Part of the Team
- Joining an intramural league at school can have numerous benefits, including meeting new people and having fun. And you’ll keep active playing a sport you love.
- Intramurals help take your mind off other things, such as school and work, thus reducing your stress level.
- Playing sports can be a great confidence builder and motivator. Look at it as an ego booster.
- By doing something physical every week you’re getting your heart pumping, which is good for the body and helps keep you healthy.
6. Stay Moving!
- Go to your school’s rec center and take it to the weight room, pool, or cardio room. Going to a common place on campus will allow you to meet others doing something you share an interest in.
- Participate in your rec center’s yoga class or cycling class. If you can meet people sitting in your Biology 101 class, who says you can’t chat up the person on the yoga mat next to you?
7. Earn Extra Cash with an On-Campus Job
- If you feel there’s time in your schedule for a part-time job, what are you waiting for?
- On-campus jobs are generally more flexible than off-campus jobs and allow you to meet people you go to school with.
- Consider getting a job in your intended career path. If you are studying computer information technology, take up a job in the computer lab. Not only will you get real-world experience, but you will earn extra cash as well.
- Did you ever stop to think that an on-campus job could provide you with future networking opportunities? Working a job in your intended career path can give you some great leads when graduation rolls around and you’re looking for connections.
8. Go Greek
- It’s true, Greek life isn’t right for everyone—but if you’re intrigued by the idea of brotherhood and sisterhood, why not check it out? Attend Rush Week activities and see if there’s a group you can envision joining. You might just meet some lifelong friends.
- Greek organizations often participate in events in the community, community service programs, and many on-campus activities. Your options for getting involved and meeting people are limitless once you become a member of a Greek organization.