By Clara Lane
Whether you are hundreds of miles away from home, or one block away, there is one thing to keep in mind about the college experience: it is NOTHING like anything you have experienced before.
To sum it up, college is a realm you enter that is filled with different people from thousands of different places with millions of different experiences, all together in one place. At first, it is completely foreign and extremely intimidating. But, making good friends is guaranteed to make SMU feel like home. I found my absolute best friends in my first year here and hopefully, with the help of these five tips, your experience will be just as amazing as mine.
1. Be confident – It sounds cliché and completely like something a mom would say, but I found it to be the most helpful thing in my first year: fake it until you make it. Whenever you are in a new place with new people and no one but yourself to rely on, confidence levels drop astronomically. But, even with something as simple as a smile, you can exude happiness and self-assurance that attracts people to you and creates a comfortable environment for everyone
2. Remember names and take people’s phone numbers – Due to the immense number of people you will meet in such a short amount of time, I guarantee you that remembering peoples’ names will become impossible. When you meet someone new, write down their name and where you met them as a means of memorization. Remembering peoples’ names is a underrated skill that can bring automatic respect and gratitude from everyone you meet.
3. Keep an open mind – Because there are so many different types of people that you will be meeting in your first couple of months at SMU, keep an open mind about everyone and everything you encounter. By accepting the differences and similarities of others, you are putting yourself in the position for others to hopefully treat you with the same dignity and respect.
4. Try anything and everything – Known as the period of experimentation, the first year of college is the perfect environment to try anything and everything without worrying about possibility of failure. Get involved and participate with anything that sounds interesting, for these activities are a great gateway to possible friendships with people who share similar interests.
5. Be patient – The first month is inevitably stressful as you find your footing and become more comfortable with people and the school. But try not to stress out too much, as everything will come in time. Friendships are not made over night, but with time and effort, things will fall together and hopefully you will find your best friends just as I did.