It is always difficult finding yourself when in a new setting and this is never more true then when you head off to college for the first time. All of a sudden you find yourself in a more independent role, with more freedoms than you have ever had previously at school and are now surrounded by over a thousand new faces and personalities which you will be interacting with throughout your time there. With this new found freedom comes the ability to explore yourself, finding new interests, pursuing existing ones, and making memories that will last a lifetime.
College will present you with countless opportunities to explore your interests and also challenge yourself in ways you never thought possible. There are a number of things that you can do to fit in, find new hobbies and discover more about yourself such as;
Join a club – Many colleges will offer clubs/groups that students are welcome to join such as book clubs, drama clubs and sometimes even conservation clubs. These are designed to help students explore their own interests so don’t be afraid to sign up to them if they peak your interest. You may even be able to start your own club if you want to!
Talk to people – As scary as it may sound, college will bring you into contact with a large number of people all of which are potential new friends. Never be afraid to go up to people in your class/courses and chat. Even if it is just a simple hello, it’s a start. Getting to know new people will introduce you to their hobbies, friends and even their cultures. This will help you to understand them better but also learn new things about yourself and where you fit in.
Getting involved in the process – If college feels overwhelming, it can be a good idea to try to get yourself involved in the process. For example, joining the school council (if they have one) can give you a sense of control and ownership over how the college works for its students in some areas. It may also be a good idea to know the contacts for the senior staff so you can contact them with any ideas you have for clubs/events and help organise them!
Be open with yourself – Always remember that you are going to be challenged at college, and whilst you should never force yourself to do something you are not comfortable with, be open to new experiences and never be afraid to change (in positive ways) as this is a key part of development. This will also mean that you are staying aware of yourself and making sure that you are only ever striding to improve. If at any time you feel unsure or uneasy then do try to seek support, either at college itself or externally. Finding yourself is not always about finding what you like, but also what you dislike so don’t worry if an experience isn’t as positive for you as it is for others.
Finding yourself is truly a once in a lifetime experience and can be the most rewarding of them all. Never miss a chance to be more you and be the best you possible. College is scary but has so much to offer you, so take the bull by the horns and make some great memories.
I promise you won’t regret it!