How to Find Your Place in College
A lot of people live by the premise that you find your place, your people, and yourself. That’s a lot to take on. While this is a bit of a cliche, I’ve found most of it to be pretty true.
I remember how my nerves twisted around about the pressure of finding my place on top of the heap of other college pressures: Living away from home, navigating campus, and adjusting to a new schedule. And while my tips aren’t for overcoming anxiety (I’m sorry, I’m still trying to figure that out), they will help ease you into finding where you can find your fit at Temple.
Be an active participant in your classes
First off, I don’t know if I have to say this, but I will just in case: Go to class! Every class is an opportunity to learn and make connections. To me, fully ‘being there’ in a class goes past sitting in a chair. It includes answering your professor’s questions to the class, asking your own, and taking notes.
This one may be a bit controversial, but I always sit toward the front of the class. By doing this, I’m making sure my professor remembers my name, my face, and my interest in the class.
Stopping by your professors’ office hours or asking questions by email is important, too. It furthers your understanding of the material and shows your dedication. You also get to know your professors and they get to know you, which is always a plus (especially since they might think of you for future opportunities!).
2. Join student organizations
I am the biggest advocate for joining student organizations, especially in Klein! They give you the chance to apply what you’re learning in class to a tangible goal. For example, why only learn about social media strategies when you can create and implement them as an Account Associate in our student-run PR firm, PRowl Public Relations?
Don’t know which organizations to join? Sign up for every organization (and its email list!) that interests you. You can start researching organizations on Owl Connect, and you’ll get another overview of them during Temple Fest and Klein Fest at the beginning of the semester.
If you had a hobby in high school, you should find a Temple organization for it. For me, it was dance. I joined the Temple Tappers and it gave me something familiar to look forward to, and I met people from different majors who enjoyed tap.
But if an org is not what you expected or you find you don’t have time for it after a few meetings, you can always drop it. Trust me, we as an executive board won’t take it personally if you decide our organization isn’t the best fit for you.
3. Be there!
Throughout middle and high school, we made friends due to proximity. The same goes for college. If you consistently attend the same meetings and classes, you’ll see familiar faces.
Making the effort to make a friend doesn’t have to be revolutionary. Maybe pair up with a student whose outfits you think are cool for an in-class activity, or make it your mission to sit next to a new person at each PRSSA meeting.
Being there is also important professionally. Student organization executive boards take note of enthusiastic and active members who attend meetings and outside events. This can help you out if you’re interested in a leadership position in the future!
Finding your place socially and in your major may take a while and require trial and error. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it!
Plus, every member of the PRSSA executive board is here to help you out! You can see our contact info here.
This blog post was written by Caitlin McGeehan, Vice President.