After having spent a year at this school, I think I’ve come to understand a bit about college culture, specifically, how it can change a person’s identity or values. While it may be a good thing to be pushed into some discomfort in order to grow as a person, but sometimes this is not always the case. Personally, I’ve gone through a lot of growth as a person in my year as a student, most of it being good, and I think I have a few tips to give to anyone who’s not sure about their college experience.
First, try to make friends who share similar interests and wish to further their passions. This may seem like a difficult thing to do, but it’s much simpler than it appears. In fact, I didn’t know I had an interest in newsprint in any form before someone brought me to The Poly office. I’d never worked for a newspaper in high school or written an article prior to going to that work night, but I made great friends there who have made me a better person by extension of our work. While I would say advice as blunt as “join a club” is bad, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Along the lines of trying something new, don’t be afraid to be challenged on your beliefs. Before coming to college, I was completely against fraternities, and never saw myself joining one. However, on my first day at college, I met someone who is now a great friend of mine, who introduced me to his fraternity where I made more good friends. Eventually, I could see myself as a brother of the house and decided to pledge. Again, this is a case where a phrase like “go Greek” is not good advice, not everyone can find a fraternity they want to rush, or even can rush, but it is a valid option for a group of like-minded people.
If you haven’t noticed already, there’s a trend in my advice. Don’t jump head first into groups whose responsibilities could be overwhelming for a new student, but don’t be afraid to try something different and see where you belong. Most important, however, is that you should try to align yourself with people who can make you a better person, the college experience is a pressing point for maturity. Now is the time to make yourself the person you want to be for the rest of your life, so you should at least attempt to become a more well rounded person.