Right from birth, human beings are accustomed to living among people. It is a practice/ability that stays innate, and active throughout the lifetime. As you graduate, you are ready to embark on a new expedition and are in the pursuit of collecting tips for building community in college.
A quick and easy tip is to attend as many college events as possible. Building a community in college becomes a necessity, primarily for the sole purpose of surviving the next few years in the educational institution.
Man is a social animal, and seldom a lone wolf. He lives, works, and functions better in the warmth of a like-minded community. Relationships built during school, college, and work are instrumental in shaping an individual’s life, and broadening his/her outlook in general.
A new city, a new dorm, and new surroundings can be quite overwhelming. As a starter kit for college, we have prepared a list of the top 8 tips to help you build your niche community in college.
Building community in college
If you think high school is difficult, you are misled. If you consider joining your dream college as the only tasking affair, you are misled again. The real challenge is fitting into your college culture, adapting to the inevitable changes (that come with college), and surviving your tenure in the school.
All the aforementioned ‘challenges’ alleviate considerably when you are with your clique. They not only help you understand the ropes but also support you in times of need or adversity. Starting from tutoring you on your college lessons to helping you beat boredom, your college community is your tribe.
Make the first move for engagement
The last thing you want to do is allow your social anxiety to guide you. You need to simmer down your apprehension about engaging with people. Be the first to approach, and extend a hand of friendship. Instead of waiting on people to seek you out, be the first to start a conversation. This exhibits your friendly demeanor, makes you approachable, and displays your confidence. It is a human tendency to gravitate toward people who are outspoken, illuminate confidence, and have zero inhibition in making the first move to interact with people.
Be a part of college events
Whether it is an informal bash or a ‘tech-fest’, college events are great icebreakers. An innovative, quick, and proven hack of building a community in college is by attending random events on campus. You are subjected to a diverse crowd, and are more prone to meet ‘your crowd’.
Frat parties, Sorority house meets, football games, and even your annual Science exhibition can be incredible platforms for you to meet people that complement your vibe. You might consider an event ‘tacky’ or hilarious but instead of indulging in its hilarity all by yourself, why not share the amusement with someone else too?
The perks of the bigger fish in the fish-bowl
This is when you use your talents at your disposal. Your stand-out skills hold enormous power and are an efficacious way of gravitating fellow students toward you. You might have the best vocals, or have a ‘golden receiving arm’, or you might be a ‘whiz-kid’, all these attributes help you get noticed. You do not necessarily need to be the most popular kid in the school, but getting recognized even by a small crowd can help a long way in building your college community.
Connect over social media
Sometimes the enormity of a place can render you clueless (we feel you!). But, thanks to the World Wide Web, the world has become a global village. In circumstances when you believe the chances of physical interaction with a peer, or a group seems bleak, you can always switch to connecting with them over social media. This is primarily a ‘win-win’ situation for introverts.
Without the awkwardness, social anxiety, or the need to physically track down people, introverts find solace behind the screens of their computers, phones, or whatever 21st-century device they use to access/social media. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and even Twitter (for that matter) have successfully connected millions from every nook and cranny of the world. Building your community has never looked this easy!
Patience is your key
Weaving your college community is not an overnight process. Well, in some cases it is! But, there is absolutely no rush. You do not wish to jump into a circle without knowing its inmates. Relationships, as easy as it is to form them, can quickly turn sour on myriad grounds. However, life is not a bed of roses, and you seldom hit the ‘right crowd’ jackpot on the first go. In fact, many only ‘stumble’ onto their perfect ‘tribe’ towards the end of their college tenure. This, however, does decipher your previous relationships as failures. It is all about learning, and growth. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor!
You can build your community in the classroom!
What can be better than finding your ‘clique’ right in the classroom? The semantic nature of your interests in the same subject augments your chances of building your community in the college. You may concept life-long connections with your project mates, or develop an amicable relationship with the girl sitting behind you.
Classrooms are the best places to help you find your troop. Along with the flow of academic enlightenment, students bond over an assortment of subjects. It is easy to expand your network when you are occupying a shared space and involved in a common engagement.
Invite people to hang out after hours
A quick trip to the mall, or just hanging out in your room can do wonders for your new bond with your peers. This demonstrates your genuine interest in them and showcases your effort to get along. Over the period, it may surprise both the parties of all the undiscovered (but now discovered) similarities they withhold. You may even develop each other’s lingo!
For people who are poles apart, Coulomb has bestowed us with the law of attraction, which suffices to the rule of opposites – opposites attract! You may find commonality amidst your varying virtues, and diversity in a squad also alleviates the mundane.
Rejection is the pillar of success
Drawing an analogy to the idiom “failure is the pillar of success”, rejection can be your stepping stone to successful networking. People are wired differently, with diverse tastes and some are just plain picky. You might have to undergo the ordeal of facing rejection from people when you approach them. However, this should not deter you, or dampen your spirits. You are not a pariah, you are not an outcast. You belong to this crowd, to this place.
College is not exactly a walk in the park, it will challenge you, and even make you cower at times. The idea is to hold your ground and keep doing the work. The same group of people who have ostracized you may warm up over time. It is also unnecessary to fret over someone who fails to find meaning in their efforts. Be courteous, and move on!
Building the right community in college is an integral practice one needs to formulate right from the first day of school. Venture in the crowds, pay heed to all activities and develop an approachable persona – these are the prime requisites for networking. Your college community is often deemed as the alpha and omega. They become your ‘life-supporting systems’ throughout the school, thereby amplifying the importance of participating in the ‘right’ community.