When I was writing the post from last week about getting involved on a large college campus, I had the idea to ask one of my best friends from high school talk to you all about her transition from a small high school (we graduated with 75 students) to the University at Buffalo (SUNY), which boasts a population of roughly 30,000 students. She survived and thrived through her transition from a small high school to a large university and here is her advice to help you through yours:
Getting involved on a large campus can be really challenging. I was used to my high school where I graduated with 75 people; when I graduated from college it was 3500 just in my class. Now, I was never the most outgoing of people so this was a huge transition for me. When I started out freshman year I knew one person, whom I had met at Orientation. But from there she and I started going to club meetings and activities around campus so we met more people every day.
UB made it so you have the same classes and get put in the same arena with people of the same major. So even though the campus was so large, you saw a lot of the same people every day. I started out as a pre-pharmacy major, so right away I joined the pharmacy club to try to meet some like-minded people, which then led to joining the Honor Society. During my sophomore year I then started working with a catering company on campus. We were the ones to work all the football games and feed the players afterwords. I met a lot of really amazing friends working those crazy long hours!
|Sarah at work with the UB mascot|
I had a really hard time the first few weeks being away from home. My freshman year I was in one room with three other girls, so as you can imagine it wasn’t the best situation to be in. So yeah, you may have a pretty crappy living situation but you end up learning so much about yourself and the people around you that it’s hard not to have fun! To get out of the room though I got really involved at the gym on campus and started taking Tuesday night yoga classes. Just put yourself out there and make sure you have fun doing it!
Remember it really helps that everyone is in the same boat as you! Most people that go to college don’t know many people there either. It can be really hard starting out at a huge school not knowing anyone. Now is the time to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone. You will meet people from all walks of life that have so many interesting things about them, so make sure you ask questions. Enjoy the time you have in college but also remember you are paying for it so keep your priorities straight. It will definitely help out in the long run. :)
I hope this post has helped you guys a little in planning for your transition to a larger university or for changing the way you are doing things there now. Just remember, getting involved is essential on any college campus, so find your niche and go with it!
enjoy the chase,