Some students can't wait to move away from home and immerse themselves in the vibrant campus society. Others find it a little intimidating to leave everything they've ever known and be expected to handle all life's details without the support system that's always been there.
Whether one of these, or something in between, describes your situation, social life on campus is a huge part of the college experience. Finding your niche, or not finding it, can mean the difference between loving college and hating it. And enjoying the social side too much can cause as many problems as avoiding the social scene altogether.
To keep your social and academic lives balanced:
- Get to know your roommate(s). This may be your first experience sharing space with someone other than family members. Learn to respect your roommate's personality and needs. Creating a good relationship early on means it'll be easier to study and live together.
- Keep in touch with home. Even if your parents didn't attend college, they did learn to live on their own. Plus, they probably know you better than anyone else does. Your parents can provide great support. (And you'll be amazed how much better you get along when neither of you is worried about your curfew!)
- Make new friends. Reach out to your neighbor across the hall or strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class.
- Get involved in extracurricular activities. This is another great way to meet new people and find a place where you belong.
- Set limits. Remember to balance your activities with work, academics and social relationships.
- Be smart. Make informed decisions about dating, safety and new experiences. Know what your comfort level is and don't go beyond it.