Breaking Out of Your Shell
This post was written pre-quarantine, but it can still be applied to your virtual experience!
Transitioning from high school to college can be difficult. There are many obstacles that you may face. There are so many more people on campus and possibly even in your classes. The campus itself is most likely much larger than your high school campus and if you are like me, you get lost on your first day and have to rush to class. But those are easy things to overcome and get accustomed to. But something that I struggled with during my freshman year was making friends. None of my high school besties came to UNLV and even if they did, our schedules probably would not match up so it was time that I break out of my shell.
Here are some of the tips that I picked up- from one introvert to another!
Sit next to your classmates and start a study group!
This one seems like a given but if you are just as shy as I was, it may not seem so simple. Being in these new classes is so nerve-wracking in itself so I could not imagine interacting with other students. But talking to the person next to you about the one thing you know for certain you have in common can spark a new study buddy relationship! You may find more things in common. (You can also start group texts with classmates!)
Get an on-campus job!
Okay, maybe this does not interest you but this is where I got to closely interact with so many amazing and fun people! I got a job my very first semester and I do not regret it at all. They have made my college experience so much better than I could have ever asked for- plus, you get paid! (There are still open campus jobs that you can do from home!)
UNLV hosts tons of events throughout the semester. My personal favorite is Premiere at the beginning of the academic school year. Last fall, none of my close friends wanted to go with me but I was not going to let that stop me. I asked a friend that I met at work (I’m telling you, the people I have met there are the best) if I could hang out with her group. Turned out to be one of my most favorite memories ever! Do not miss out on possible memories. (Many events are being held online!)
This one is also very simple but overlooked. UNLV has over 400 clubs and there is bound to be one that interests you. Again, those that you meet in these groups already share a commonality with you. They are awesome little communities within themselves and it allows you to meet so many amazing people. I personally joined a sorority and I love my sorority sisters to death. There is always someone on campus for me to grab lunch with or study in the library with. (Many clubs are still active virtually!)
You cannot get to know new people and make friends or connections if you stay to yourself. Everyone in your classes, especially as a freshman, is feeling just as nervous as you are. I always like to say that we are all on the same boat. You will benefit from trying new things, finding out what you do and do not enjoy, and hopefully get to know some awesome people. But you will never know until you try. College will fly by and while the semesters may feel long at times, you will get through them in a flash. I cannot believe I am a junior now! It seems as if just yesterday, my phone’s map sent me all the way across campus on my very first day. Life is too short to not ask someone to study with you or watch a campus talent show. Go into everything with an open mind and you will learn so much! Best of luck to you, I hope these tips help you as much as they helped me!
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada