The COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on what we once viewed as the college experience. From Zoom classes to limited capacity sporting events, the past year and half has made it more difficult to meet new people and make friends in college. Now that many classes will be held in-person this upcoming fall semester, I urge you to make the most of your college experience whether you are new freshman coming to campus or a sophomore that did not get the typical freshman year of college. One of the best ways to make new friends and grow as both a student and a person is to get involved on campus by joining a student organization, volunteering, finding a study partner in your class, and more.
I was so scared my freshman year that I would not make any new friends and would simply go to class and then go back home to my parents. As a commuter student, it may seem difficult at first to meet new people outside of your classes because you are not on campus all of the time, but by joining a student organization or studying with someone at Drinko Library or the student center, I slowly began to find new friends. One of the best decisions I made my freshman year was joining a sorority and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I came into college hating Greek life and saying that it was never something that I would want to be a part of, but here I am. It gave me a chance to grow more confident in myself and my abilities as both a student and a human being. I took on leadership positions and got involved with other campus organizations and events, including Dance Thunder. I changed my major to something that I was passionate about and made me happy and made so many new friends. Through with Greek life and other campus organizations that I am involved with, I have been able to grow my resume and meet new people across the country. I even started my own club here at Marshall, which is something that I never thought I would do, but I am a long way from who I was when I started my freshman year three years ago.
Though, your way of getting involved may be completely different from mine and that is okay. There are so many student organizations and campus programs to get involved with and volunteer and networking events to attend as well. Find what you are passionate about and what makes you happy. Do not be afraid to hang out in the student center or in Drinko library because someone you know may come in and want to join you.
I know that coming out of this pandemic, life seems a little weird and awkward. We have not really had normal social interaction and that is okay. Be patient with yourself. We will all be in this together, pushing through, and learning how to navigate this new fall semester.
Abby Hanlon can be reached at [email protected]