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How can you find your community in college?

I'm concerned that making lasting friendships will be much more difficult in college. I don't really want to participate in Greek life, and I'm not sure how many groups related to my religious and extracurricular interests will be available in college. I'm used to being around a small, close-knit community and not having close friends is one of my biggest fears. #friends #community #collegelife #college #friends #college-advice


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Nancy’s Answer

Marie,


I agree with Katie that sometimes your residence hall provides the opportunity to become friends, but sometimes those roommates or neighbors may not be a good fit. Besides freshman orientation, colleges have activities fairs and student unions with activities offices with information about dozens or hundreds or even thousands of clubs and activities to get involved in. You can also probably find most of them online. Religious life offices may be able to steer you to services for your faith, or to interfaith services. There are also fraternities focused especially on community service. I found most of my college friends in an activity I enjoyed and in a special residence hall I applied to.


Remember that hundreds, if not thousands of other students are in the same boat as you. They also want to find friends. Try new things and go to some you know you will enjoy, and you will likely make some great friends. It’s okay if this takes a little time. However, sitting alone in your room instead of getting out there will likely prolong the time it takes to make friends. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to go to lunch with you or study together for a class, as those things also lend themselves to new friend opportunities.


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Patricia’s Answer

College for me was so much easier to find friends and amazing support systems. I had trouble in High School making friends in a small town but college was so much easier. Once I chose my major I was in a lot of classes with very like minded people and found myself making and keeping friends for life. I still after 10+ years talk to and support the people I met in college. This is the time for you to come out of your shell and really learn who you are. Since I was meeting so many people like myself I feel like it helped build fast and lasting relationships.


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Pepper’s Answer

Do not despair! There are tons of groups to engage in while in college. Your first friends will likely be those in your living circle/nearest by. Go to the student life center, and staff will be happy to connect you with groups associated with your specific interests that you can sample to determine which work best for you. Greek isn't always the answer, and often times is not.


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Susan’s Answer

I went to a small college so my experience may be different than yours - but there are SO many ways to meet people - different clubs, activities. Our school had a orientation week to help new students learn all about the school and the different activities available to participate in and it was a great way to see what was available and meet like minded people. Everyone is in the same boat as you - everyone will be new and looking to find friends - so it may not be as challenging as you might think to make friends and find friends that share similar interests.


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Misty’s Answer

Marie,

There are all kinds of ways to meet people of your same interests in small community college settings. There are always activities going on for different groups and usually there are posters, flyers, or postings up in the school common areas that let you know what is going on. Another way would be to check on the school's website for calendar of events and sometimes they have things listed on there. Orientation is a good way to learn what your school has to offer in terms of social things that have nothing to do with greek life.


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Katie’s Answer

Many schools now offer some type of program for Freshman to help them acclimate to college life. While I would not use wikipedia as a source in for any papers, you can use it as a starting point to learn more . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Year_Experience_Program

I participated in what my school called Freshman Experience and found my college community in the hallways of my freshman dorm. Living with other freshman does not equate to automatic friendships; it does surround you with others also trying to find their way through in a new place.

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Nick’s Answer

This is a great question. For a lot of people, college life will be their avenue to life long friendships. You will meet them in class, hall, and lunch. There is a ton of groups in college you can connect with. If you are not a social butterfly, than college is a perfect time to press your levels of uncomfortableness to grow as a person. The same way you made friends in high school and elementary school will be very similar.


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