Building relationships from day one through Graduation Day is a major key in college. From making friends to expanding your professional network, it could make the difference from being hired in a full-time job when you’re still in college vs. one year down the road. Trust me. It will help you eventually.
First, and foremost. Make friends with everyone you can on campus. In your club meetings, turn around get to know one person every other week. In your class, ask a question of the person beside you and see where that goes from there. I made a great friend/study-buddy in one class last semester by asking her a simple question and we are still close. When you’re out at night with friends of friends, get to know everyone’s names and then add them on social media to keep in touch. Be outgoing. Don’t sit in you room with your lovely (or not so lovely) roommate all day. I know plenty of people who only hangout with their hometown friends in college. That isn’t a bad thing at all, because my high school best friend is here and I’m glad she is, but college is all about building new relationships in a new community that will last you a lifetime. I bet some of my best friends right now will be my truly close friends for the rest of my life. Also, to be completely honest, make friends with the Housing Staff, the cooks in the dining halls, security officers, RA’s, and the list goes on and on. You never know when you’ll need something!!
Next, truly get to know your professors. They are actually human beings with stories and experience. Most of them are quite nice. But, at the end of the day, they are far more likely to go above and beyond for someone they already know. So don’t wait until you’re in trouble academically or you need a favor to get to know them. If you’re not doing too hot in a class by the end of the semester, chances are they’ll be more willing to find a way to help you if they know that you’ve been to office hours and you participate in class. Also, they will also come in handy as a reference when you are interested in applying for research experiences, internships, or externships in the future. They might even be willing to write you a letter of recommendation if you’ve truly built a great relationship which will come in handy if you’re applying for scholarships (do it do it do it) or acceptance into programs on campus or at other institutions. You may even end up being friends with some of these people!
Finally, be a good friend. Despite the fact that some girls that I’ve gotten to know recently screw up quite frequently, I continue to help them (sometimes when I should not) because that is who I am. Sometimes your friends need you to be there for them and sometimes you’ll need them to be there for you. Don’t ever let them down. Stay true to who you are and they’ll return the favor when you need them.
Until next time…